Analysing Ganguly's viewpoint on Rohit Sharma in Test cricket
Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, through his tweet on 29th September, expressed his curiosity and astonishment on why Rohit Sharma wasn't recalled in India's Test set-up, for the squad playing against the Windies in a two-match Test series.
India's fine off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh 'Bhajji' also showed his dissatisfaction on Rohit Sharma not being included in India's Test squad against West Indies. On September 30, he tweeted that he had no clue as to what the selectors were thinking.
However, my thoughts collide with the thoughts of the former Indian greats. I feel it's not the right time to include Rohit Sharma in the Indian Test team. Rohit was axed from the team's squad for England due to his poor performances overseas. If Ganguly and Harbhajan want Rohit Sharma in the Test squad because of his form in white-ball cricket, it's totally unfair for the other cricketers.
Even a prolific red-ball batsman, Michael Bevan, played just 18 Test matches in his entire career. Test matches and limited overs cricket are completely different things. A red-ball in comparison to the white-ball does more tricks and possesses a higher level of difficulty. It's quite fair to say that most of the ODI matches are played on flat tracks. However, Test cricket has still been delivering the traditional seaming and spinning wickets in almost all parts of the world.
There are a lot of young and matured cricketers competing in Ranji cricket, just to earn a chance to feature in India's national Test team, while Rohit Sharma doesn't look very eager about playing the four-day matches in the domestic circuit.
It's truly disappointing to see players who have played over 100 Tests and 200 ODIs failing to contrast white-ball and red-ball cricket. A player like Ganguly advocating the inclusion of a player due to his form in limited overs is indeed shocking.
Rohit Sharma hasn't been a great performer in Test matches at all. The only place where he can perform is in the Asian conditions and the only oppositions that he can bash are the weaker teams. How then, can the selectors choose a player for specific conditions?
Rohit Sharma should participate in domestic cricket or involve himself in County cricket if he has intentions of playing five day games for the national team in his spare time. Senior Test players like Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have been working hard to improve their game and score runs in international cricket by participating in 4-day Test matches. Even Virat Kohli had signed up to play a few county games before the England tour to brush up his technique in harsh conditions, though he was later injured and had to skip the games.
Moreover, uncapped players like Prithvi Shaw, Ankit Bawne, etc have also been scoring heavily in the domestic circuit. Mayank Agarwal and Mohammad Siraj have earned their spot in the team due to their performances and hard-work. Even an experienced opener like Shikhar Dhawan was dropped from the squad because of his poor form and inability to score runs consistently despite him being in rollicking form in ODIs.
In such circumstances, waiting for opportunities rather than hoping that it is gifted to you is a wiser move, and Ganguly should be aware of the concept of awarding only a deserving player with a berth in the team.