MSK open to Rohit role as Test opener
Selection committee chairman MSK Prasad hinted that Rohit Sharma could be accommodated into India’s Test playing XI in the opening slot at a time when KL Rahul’s form has become a “cause of concern.”
India ODI vice-captain Rohit has been in sublime form of late, but despite being in the squad, he sat out of the two-Test series in the West Indies.
Rohit has usually played in Tests as a middle-order batsman, but with the success of Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari in the Caribbean, it is more likely that he can come into the team as an opener — a position where he has excelled in the shorter formats.
“As selection committee, we haven’t met after the conclusion of the West Indies tour. We will definitely take this (Rohit as opener) point into consideration when we all meet and discuss about it,” Prasad, a former India wicketkeeper, told India Today.
“KL is definitely a great talent. Of course, he is going through a bit of a tough time in Test cricket and we are definitely concerned about his form. He needs to spend more time on the wicket and regain his touch and form,” Prasad said.
Rahul looked tentative at the crease throughout the West Indies series in which he scored 13, 6, 44 and 38.
As for Rohit, he had begun his Test career with a bang by hitting centuries in his first two innings, in the home series against the Windies in the 2013-14 season. But since then, he has struggled with consistency and found wanting on most occasions when conditions haven't been too easy for batting.
Rohit has so far played 27 Tests, accumulating 1,585 runs with three hundreds and 10 half-centuries at an average of 39.62.
On Kuldeep Chahal and Yuzvendra Chahal not being part of the T20I squad for the West Indies series as well as the upcoming home series against South Africa, Prasad insisted that the duo remain in the selectors’ plans for the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.
Rahul Chahar and Washington Sundar are part of the T20I squad for the South Africa series beginning in Dharamsala on September 15. Both of them had also travelled to the Caribbean last month.
“In order to bring variety in the spin bowling department, we have been trying youngsters keeping in view the T20 World Cup.
“Chahal and Kuldeep have been outstanding performers in the shorter formats in the last two years. They are definitely ahead in the race now.
“It’s just that we are trying few other options now,” added Prasad.