Rohit Sharma should play his natural game in Tests: Bangar
Rohit Sharma will look to dominate the proceedings after the national selectors picked him as the opener for the upcoming Test series against South Africa. While he has been a force to reckon with in ODIs and T20Is, his run in Tests has been highly inconsistent. Meanwhile, former batting coach Sanjay Bangar urged him to maintain his individuality to script success in red-ball cricket.
Bangar said in order to script success in Tests, Rohit should play his natural game. However, Bangar warned that it would be a challenge for him to open in the longer format, as he has never done it before. "At the moment, there is no place [for Rohit] in the settled middle-order in the Test team," said Bangar.
"But, the advantage is that he will get to bat against a hard ball with plenty of gaps in the field. He will also not have to wait for his turn to bat, which will save his mental energy," Bangar further said to ESPNCricinfo.
Considering Rohit's performance in Test cricket, out of 27 matches, he has batted in the middle-order in 25 of those. In those matches, he has scored 1,478 runs at an average of 42.22. However, he has just three centuries, with his top score of 177. Meanwhile, he has also batted at number three in Tests, scoring just 107 at an average of 21.40.
Rohit's favorite batting position in Tests has been the number 6 spot, where he has scored 1,037 runs in 16 matches, at a sound average of 54.57, including three centuries and his top score of 177.
Taking only stats into account, Sharma's performance in Tests has been just about average. However, it is his inconsistency that has troubled him in the past. As for him being promoted as an opener, while he is a regular opener in the white-ball cricket, the author has some reservations. Moreover, having not done it before, it would be an uphill task.