Rohit aiming to warm-up for Test opening slot against SA
Rohit Sharma will be the focus in the three-day warm-up match against South Africa, starting Thursday. The senior cricketer will lead the Board President's XI against the Proteas ahead of the three-match Test series from October 2 onwards. Rohit will bat as an opener and this serves as a perfect opportunity for him to gain confidence. Here's more.
The upcoming Test series is Rohit's mega chance to resurrect his stop-start Test career. Therefore, while turning up for Board President's XI, the focus for Rohit will be to show his credentials. He has been a celebrated opener in limited-overs cricket and has won many laurels, however, this is a different and difficult format. Opening is a new challenge for him in Tests.
Rohit has generally played as a middle order batsman for Team India in Tests. He has been in the squad for a while but saw chances hard to come by. With KL Rahul being dropped as a Test opener, the selectors are keen to see Rohit open in Tests. Rohit will be batting alongside fellow opener Mayank Agarwal to build the understanding.
At the moment, India's middle order slots are filled and wasting Rohit's talent on the bench is something Team India wasn't keen on doing any more. Therefore, the slot for opening the batting came up. Rohit will be wary of Shubman Gill's threat. The in-form youngster is the third choice opener at the moment. Rohit cannot afford to fail in his new role.
South Africa will be wanting to sharpen themselves against Board President's XI. Their ICC World Test Championship campaign starts against India and this is a good chance to go all out and find some momentum. Pacers Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi will aim to challenge Rohit. Rohit's technique against the moving ball will be put to test in this crunch encounter.
Board President's XI: Rohit Sharma (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, AR Easwaran, Karun Nair, Siddhesh Lad, KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Jalaj Saxena, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Avesh Khan, Ishan Porel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav.