Ex-Indian cricketer questions move to promote Rohit as Test opener
The move to promote Rohit Sharma as the opener in Tests has become a topic of debate, as critics continue to analyze the move. Rohit is all set to open the innings in the upcoming three-Test series against South Africa. While it has been welcomed by many, as they sound optimistic about it. Meanwhile, this former Indian wicket-keeper batsman has questioned the move.
Nayan Mongia said that opening in cricket "is a specialized job". Further, it is different in Tests, unless Rohit decides to go after the ball right away, as he does in white-ball cricket. "He must stick to his strengths, rather than change his game according to Test cricket. If he does that, it may affect his limited-overs game," Mongia told The Times of India.
"Why not give chances to those who have scored 800-1,000 runs in a season as an opener? The likes of Panchal and Easwaran are averaging 50-60 in domestic cricket. When are they going to get a chance? It is de-motivating for them," Mongia questioned.
Meanwhile, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly had backed Rohit as a Test opener, when Rohit was not picked in the playing XI, during the just-concluded Test series against Windies. "I still believe that he [Rohit] needs to be given an opportunity [as an opener] because he is too good a player to be left out in the cold," Ganguly had earlier written for TOI.
Notably, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar feels that while it would be a challenge for Rohit to open in Tests, his ability to bat well against the fresh hard ball would play a crucial role. "He will also not have to wait for his turn to bat, which will save his mental energy," Bangar had told 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.