Two reasons why Rohit Sharma shouldn't be played as an opener in Test cricket
One of the contemporary greats in white-ball cricket, Rohit Sharma has often been criticized for his poor show in the longest form of the game. Someone who's known to be blessed with timing and control over his shots, Sharma hasn't tasted enough success in whites for India.
A career in Test cricket which began with a lot of promise in 2013, with his career-best knock of 177 against West Indies, took a major dive due to his inconsistency to convert potential into performances at the big stage. In a 27-Test-old career which has spanned over six years, the Mumbaikar has often been overlooked in the longest format despite being an ODI and T20I specialist for India over all these years.
At this stage of his career, when Rohit has embarked upon a journey to register himself as one of the ODI greats of all time, opinions are divided over his inclusion in the Test side as an opener in the Indian batting lineup.
While the 32-year old has proved his class against the white ball, here we discuss why Rohit Sharma shouldn't open in Test cricket for India:
#1. Inadequate technique against the moving ball
Opening in Test cricket has been the toughest job in the game, especially in the last two years. In the history of cricket, the last two years rank among the top four for the lowest average opening partnerships in a calendar year. This gives a clear indication of how openers have failed to show any resistance against the new ball.
Rohit, who at times looks vulnerable against the moving ball, is a not a good option at the top of the order. There is no denying the fact that Sharma has struggled to counter swing even against the white ball.
His inability to tackle the red ball, which offers more swing as compared to the white ball, has come to the fore even in the past. A hard bat swing, and the routine of playing away from the body, have also hampered his cause in the long form of the game.
Also see – ICC World Test Championship Schedule
#2. Other potential openers waiting for the opportunity
In the recent past, Indian domestic cricketers have often come forward to mention about the lack of rewards despite consistent performances in the domestic circuit at each level of the game.
When India continues to struggle with certain batting positions, both in ODIs and Test cricket, the management has continued to show faith in the experienced campaigners instead of giving the opportunity to the young crop of players.
At this stage, when there is an upsurge of openers in the four-day format of the game at the domestic level, it would be an injustice to neglect their performances. The likes of Priyank Panchal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, have done enough to rightly earn themselves a Test call-up for the opening slot.
In such a scenario, if the Indian team persists with their struggling openers or gives an opportunity to Rohit in Tests, it would be too harsh on such deserving youngsters who have scored tons of runs at the India A or the domestic level.
NOTE: The writer's views need not necessarily reflect the views of Sportskeeda.