West Indies vs India 2019: Leaving out Rohit Sharma may cost India the first match
Today, Team India began their journey in the much-awaited ICC World Test Championship against the West Indies. At the outset, it may appear to be a cakewalk for the number-one ranked Test team, but the hosts should not be underestimated, especially after their excellent show in a home Test series against England earlier this year (West Indies won the three-match series 2-1).
Surprisingly, a team that over the years had the arguably best batting unit in the world starting with Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and VVS Laxman; today, looks pale with inexperienced openers and a wobbly late middle-order. Barring Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli, India’s batting-order has not provided their fans a consistent sense of comfort in recent times, despite success in Australia.
Considering the vulnerability, despite being a supporter of five proper bowlers, Virat Kohli wisely chose to field with only four bowlers, namely Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohamed Shami, and Ravindra Jadeja. However, on the other hand, chose to bank on Hanuma Vihari for the No.6 slot instead of experienced Rohit Sharma. Quite a surprise.
Rohit Sharma is currently going through a purple patch in the limited over cricket and has scored heavily against every opponent around the world.
It is shocking to have such an in-form batsman sitting at the bench especially when you have chosen to proceed with six specialist batsmen; only to strengthen your batting unit. It is baffling, to say the least You just cannot have a player of such caliber travel only as a tourist.
The MSK-Prasad led selection committee had rewarded Rohit for his consistent performance in white-ball cricket by selecting him in the Test squad and if there was ever an ideal opportunity for him to showcase his worth, it was today.
Currently, Team India desperately wants a solid player to provide them with the much-needed stability to the batting-order and looking into Mumbaikar’s growing maturity and willingness to play long innings; without a doubt, he was the best bet.
Leaving Rohit out for the game is nothing short of a mistake and; it may even cost India the match. With due respect to every other Indian batsman, Indian cricket fans will now only hope for another successful Cheteshwar or Virat outing to take India to a respectable score.