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India vs Australia, 4th Test: Who should replace Rohit Sharma at Sydney?

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
10.19K   //    31 Dec 2018, 14:37 IST

Rohit Sharma set to miss the Sydney Test
Rohit Sharma set to miss the Sydney Test

As the Indian team celebrate their memorable win at Melbourne, there is more cause for celebration for Rohit Sharma as he and his wife have been blessed with a baby girl. Rohit is set to miss the fourth Test at Sydney as he is flying back to India. Rohit made his presence felt at Melbourne with scores of 63 and 5.

As wishes pour in for the Sharma couple, it is now time to identify the replacement for Rohit Sharma for the fourth Test at Sydney.

Options available in the squad

Batsmen

Murali Vijay, K.L. Rahul and Parthiv Patel

All-rounder

Hardik Pandya

Fast Bowlers

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav

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Spinners

Ravichandran Ashwin & Kuldeep Yadav.

Batsmen

The logical replacement for Rohit Sharma in the team would be another specialist batsman. However, it is strange to note that in a squad of 19, no other reserve middle-order batsman is available. Hence the next best option is to open with either Murali Vijay or K.L. Rahul and revert Hanuma Vihari back to the middle-order. As both Vijay and Rahul are woefully out-of-form, the team management might not take that route.

The woeful form of both Vijay and Rahul will keep them out of the playing XI
The woeful form of both Vijay and Rahul will keep them out of the playing XI

The other option is to bring in the second wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel as the specialist opening batsman and push back Vihari to the middle-order. Patel has opened earlier for India in Test matches and has been reasonably successful. However, he cannot replace Rishabh Pant after Pant’s record-breaking dismissals in the series. Playing Parthiv Patel as a specialist opener carries the same risk as bringing back Vijay or Rahul.

In the absence of another reserve middle-order batsman in the squad, India would like to go in with Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari as openers at Sydney and fill in the void at the middle-order with an all-rounder or a bowler who could bat a bit.

The Hardik Pandya option

Hardik Pandya was not selected for the Melbourne Test due to lack of match practice. Since then nothing has changed within a week. Hence, if the same reasoning is applied, Hardik Pandya might be left to warm the bench at Sydney.

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