If Rohit Sharma can do in Tests what he did in ODIs, it will be great for India: Virat Kohli

India Today

India Today

Author 2019-10-01 17:08:00

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Rohit sharma during practice session (PTI Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rohit Sharma is all set to open for 1st time in Tests
  • Rohit's career transformed after he was promoted to open in ODIs in 2013
  • Virat Kohli believes Rohit can emulate his ODI exploits as opener in Tests

India captain Virat Kohli doesn't expect Rohit Sharma to follow a certain style and wants the seasoned campaigner to use his natural instincts much like Virender Sehwag in his new role as Test opener.

Virat Kohli said Rohit Sharma understands what he needs to do and said the transition from the middle-order to opening spot is more mental adjustment than anything else.

Ahead of the 1st Test between India and South Africa, starting October 2, Virat Kohli confirmed Rohit Sharma would open along with Mayank Agarwal. In fact, India named the playing XI for the 1st Test on its eve after captain Kohli addressed the press conference in Visakhapatnam.

"In Test cricket I started at (number) six then came up to four. It was more of a mental thing. If you can convince yourself you can do it. Test cricket is about finding your game in different conditions," Virat Kohli said on Tuesday.

"We are not looking at a certain kind of display of batting from Rohit. It is about him finding his game at the top. Yes, his strength is to take the game forward. Like what Viru bhai used to do for the team for a long period.

"So, it is not as if someone would have told Viru bhai to attack and get a hundred before lunch. His natural instinct took over and he could demolish attacks once he felt comfortable.

"He definitely has the ability. If the wicket is challenging and then obviously you won't see him smashing the ball, he knows what to do."

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli expects Rohit Sharma to emulate his ODI route to opening success in Tests.

Rohit Sharma had played in the middle-order for 81 ODIs before the then India captain, MS Dhoni came up with the idea of promoting him to the opener's slot. Rohit found instant success and his career changed for good after the promotion.

Rohit has scored 25 hundreds, including 3 double hundreds, ever since his promotion to the opener's slot in 2013.

"For Rohit as well, clarity of role knowing that you have to play in a certain way, is very crucial for a player and for us the communication happened long ago," Virat Kohli said.

"But we could not see a situation but now there is a situation and it is an ideal time to go ahead with it because we have spoken about it. ODIs was same with him.

"He was batting in the middle order and then suddenly opening conversations happened and within 6-8 months he was opening and we all know what happened after that. If he can do what he did in ODIs, it will be great for Indian cricket."

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