Ravi Shastri explains why Rohit Sharma is being picked over Cheteshwar Pujara
Indian team director and former player Ravi Shastri says it will be a battle of young team versus young team in Sri Lanka, reports www.bcci.tv. He briefed media ahead of the first Test between Sri Lanka and India in Galle.
Shastri missed the practice match of India as he was contracted by Sky TV in the United Kingdom as a cricket pundit for the first four Ashes Test series.
"This must be one of the youngest Indian teams to come here. If you look at the average age of this side, it will be about 25-26 as opposed to the teams that have come here in the last 15 years. So this is a very young side as well. Sri Lanka is a young side too, but you can make up for that in home conditions. So it will be young versus young and it will be interesting," he said.
Speaking on the much-debated topic of who should play in the team between Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara, he said backed Rohit to be in playing XI.
"Rohit is a class player. It's just a case of him smelling the coffee, spending some time in the middle and getting a start, and then we know what he can do. It could be a good position for him because he has that ability to counter attack and yet at the same time he will have to be tight. If Pujara is in the best five batsmen of the team he will play, if not he doesn't. I am sure he will make a comeback at some point, especially if we are playing only four bowlers."
Bengal’s Wriddhiman Saha will be the gloveman in the series. His form with the bat in recent matches hasn’t been up to the mark, while India is planning to go with the five bowler strategy, it’ll be an added pressure on the lower order batsman Saha to deliver a better performance.
The team director said that Saha just needs to spend more time on the crease and he’ll be fine.
"Saha is a very good player and he might have got out cheaply, but he has got the temperament to score runs. He batted really well in Sydney to save that Test match in the second innings as well as when he got the opportunity he looked good at the crease. It's converting that start into one big score and giving himself the self-belief that he can perform.
"And it's not just Saha. Each one of those bowlers will have to put a price tag on their wickets. No wicket is free these days and you have to make the bowlers earn those wickets and a lot will be expected from the bowlers," Shastri signed off.