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05 Dec 2018

#IndiaInAustralia: Why Rohit Sharma should open in Tests against Aussies?

Should Rohit Sharma open in Tests against Australia?

India were dealt with a severe blow ahead of the first Test against Australia, starting December 6.

In-form batsman Prithvi Shaw has been ruled out of the match, to be held in Adelaide.

Shaw suffered an ankle injury and this means India will have to find a new opening combination.

Should India allow Rohit Sharma to open in the first Test? Here we analyze.

In context

Should Rohit Sharma open in Tests against Australia?
Both Vijay and Rahul haven't looked assuring

Openers

Both Vijay and Rahul haven't looked assuring

The problem for India is that their openers will be tested against a world class attack.

Shaw was the in-form player and his task was to provide the desired start.

Murali Vijay is likely to open alongside struggling KL Rahul.

Both these batsmen struggled in South Africa and England this year.

And we feel Virat Kohli should allow Sharma to open the batting instead.

Performance

Rohit has been in top form in ODIs

Rohit is an opener for India in both T20Is and ODIs. He brings experience and aggression atop.

Rohit has been in amazing form in both ODIs and T20Is this year.

He is the second highest run-scorer in ODIs (1,030) in 2018.

Rohit bagged five tons and three fifties in the 50-over format.

In T20Is, he finished 2018 with 590 runs from 19 matches.

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Management should go bold and trust Rohit

Opening

Management should go bold and trust Rohit

The selectors got Rohit back into the Test squad for the first time since the series against South Africa.

In SA, he batted in the middle-order but couldn't perform.

He missed nine Tests in between and India want him to provide cover in the middle-order.

But given his prowess as an opener, the management should go bold and trust him with an opportunity.

First Test

India should play Vijay and Rohit in Adelaide

Earlier, Virender Sehwag backed Rohit to open the innings in Tests.

Even Sourav Ganguly was eager to see him back into the Test team.

Now India have the opportunity to feature Rohit in the playing XI.

With Rahul struggling this year, India should opt for Vijay and Rohit.

Both have experience up their sleeves. This way, the talented Hanuma Vihari also retains this place.

Rohit's natural instincts as an opener could help him

Instincts

Rohit's natural instincts as an opener could help him

Fielding Rohit as an opener would allow him to play freely.

The pressure of coming in the middle-order and sticking it out, will not be there.

With Vijay to provide the base and play second fiddle, Rohit could provide an aggressive start.

Rohit's natural instincts of knowing how to play against the new ball could aid him.

India need to be more experimental.

Approach

India should try a different approach

With Shaw missing and India unable to get stability in the opening slots this year, they might, as well, try a different route to success.

India have backed Rahul for ten Tests this year, and the results have been poor.

In essence, India do not have anything to lose if they opt for Sharma, as the opening options look unstable in any case.

Opening could free Rohit from struggles in SENA

SENA nations

Opening could free Rohit from struggles in SENA

Rohit has 1,479 runs from 25 Tests. He averages 39.97 and has three hundreds to his name.

None of these have come outside the subcontinent.

His average in SENA countries is disappointing.

He has managed only 452 runs across ten Tests.

But Rohit is a different prospect now and playing him as an opener could bring the best out of him.

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