Board President XI vs South Africa: Rohit Sharma departs for a second-ball duck in practice match
Having received the backing of the Indian team management to open the innings in Test cricket, Rohit Sharma squandered an opportunity to leave an impression ahead of the South Africa Test series after he was dismissed for a second-ball duck on the final day of the visitor’s three-day practice match against Board President XI at Vizianagaram on Saturday.
The Mumbai batsman was dismissed by Vernon Philander during Board President XI’s first innings, caught by Heinrich Klaasen. Rohit, who has been mostly playing as a middle-order batsman in red-ball cricket has replaced the struggling KL Rahul as opener. The 32-year-old is set to open alongside Mayank Agarwal when India take on the Proteas in the first Test at Visakhapatnam on October 2.
Earlier last month, MSK Prasad insisted that the selection committee was keen to try out Rohit as an opener given Rahul’s inconsistent displays with the bat.
“Yes, we are definitely looking [at Rohit] as an opener, and we want to give him an opportunity,” Prasad said in New Delhi after the squad announcement. “He is keen, and all of us in the selection committee are keen too. We want to push him, and give him some opportunities up the order, and see where he stands, and then we will take a call. [Like other openers] he will get a fair run,” he said.
Prasad added, “He has been opening in white-ball cricket for more than a decade [actually, 2013 was when he started opening for India]. We feel he has the capability to bat up the order, we have seen that in white-ball cricket, and if he can do that in red-ball cricket, then nothing like it. We have a lot of practice matches coming up, which will be a boost to this side.”
Earlier, resuming the day at 199 for 5, South Africa declared the innings at 279 for 6. Aiden Markram top-scored for the visitors with a century.
(More to follow)