What’s the story?
Indian batsman Rohit Sharma admitted that he won’t mind opening the batting for India in Tests if he was asked even though he has never batted higher than No.3 in Tests. The 29-year-old is currently playing for Mumbai in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in a bid to prove his fitness and be in contention for selection for the Test squad for the final two Tests of the series against Australia.
Speaking about opening in Tests, he said: "If they're (the team management) gonna come and ask me to open in Test cricket, I will think about it. It's not that I'm going to say no to it. But, you have to think before every decision you make. Like, when the opening position in the ODIs came to me, the team wanted me to bat there because they thought my game will suit opening the innings. Especially in places like England, where the wickets offer a lot of bounce, and since I enjoy playing where there is lot of bounce.”
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In his last three Tests, Rohit Sharma scored three fifties before undergoing a successful surgery in London. He is currently playing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy for Mumbai and scored 16 (off 33 balls) against Andhra at the SSN College of Engineering Ground, Chennai on Saturday.
Injuries have been a huge concern for India, especially in the opening department as both KL Rahul and Murali Vijay did their shoulder in Pune and the latter even failed to recover in time for the second Test, as he was replaced by Abhinav Mukund.
Since the start of the home season, Parthiv Patel and Gautam Gambhir have also been tried out at the top of the order. So the move to have Rohit Sharma open the innings might not seem like a bad ploy, especially considering the competition for places in the middle-order and Kohli’s general preference for five front-line bowlers.
Rohit himself admitted that the is ready to bat wherever the teams wants and that he is ready to adapt and even pointed to the fact that he played at No.4 for Mumbai against Andhra as proof that he is ready to bat anywhere but he admitted that he doesn’t want to talk about opening in Tests.
India’s squad for the final two Tests is set to be announced at the end of the second Test and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad was at the Mumbai-Andhra game and even admitted that he wants to see him play in the next match before taking a call on picking him for the Test side.
Considering the fitness of India’s current openers and the backup options available, it wouldn’t be the worst decision to have Rohit Sharma a promotion to open the innings. Although Rohit has never opened the batting for India in Tests, he is the first-choice limited-overs opener and he certainly knows all about making an impact at the top of the innings.