There Is No Doubt Rohit Sharma Will Succeed In Test Cricket, Says Former India Pacer Zaheer Khan
“No, I clearly don’t see this series as a make or break one for him. The team management needs to have clarity on whether you want a player or don’t want a player. There is no doubt Rohit will succeed. Do you have any doubts about it?” he told The Indian Express.
For the first time in his Test career, Rohit is set to open the batting. The move to promote Rohit floated after he sat out during the two-match Test series against West Indies.
Hanuma Vhari pipped him for a place in the playing XI, that saw Rohit warm the bench. Many former cricketers reckoned that Rohit is too good a player to sit out of playing XI and surprising everyone, chief selector MSK Prasad announced that the senior batsman will be opening in Tests as well.
Rohit has been opening on white-ball cricket since 2013 but it will be the first time in his career that he will open in Tests.
Rohit will be paired with Mayank Agarwal, who had made his debut against Australia in the Boxing Day Test last year.
Selectors have named Shubman Gill as the reserve opener for the Test series but Rohit is expected to be given complete series. Gill can go on to play for Mayank, should he not do well in the series.
The selectors’ move to open with Rohit seems to be inspired by that of Virender Sehwag, who was asked to start the proceedings in the longest format after his success in white-ball cricket. Commenting on that part, Zaheer said that it is good and comfortable for Rohit if he opens.
“It’s good if he opens. I think he (Rohit) will feel comfortable as well because he already opens in white-ball cricket. Virender Sehwag had also said that the best thing that happened to him was opening in Test cricket after opening in ODIs,” he added.
Rohit had made his Test debut in 2013 but come the first Test against South Africa, it will sort of the second debut for Rohit, who sealed his place in the limited-overs cricket six years after he was asked to open in white-ball cricket.
The first Test of the series between India and South Arica will be played in Vizag from October 2.