Saba Karim feels Rohit Sharma will have to play the role of a mentor for the other Indian openers during the five-Test series against England.
With Shubman Gill ruled out of the series, the team management will have to choose between Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul as Rohit Sharma’s opening partner.
There have been reports that Virat Kohli had a telephonic conversation with his limited-overs deputy after the selectors turned down Team India’s reported demand for additional openers to be flown over to England.
During a discussion on India News, Saba Karim highlighted that Rohit Sharma will have a huge role to play in the upcoming five-match series. He said:
“Talking to him [Rohit] is very necessary as he has to play a mentor’s role for the other new openers coming in. The conditions are tough there for batting and if you have an opening partnership there and your top-order clicks, you create a brilliant platform to put up a big score.”
The former wicketkeeper-batsman added that Rohit Sharma is one of the members of Team India’s leadership group, even in Test cricket, over the last couple of years. Karim observed:
“Rohit Sharma has got a different role for Team India in the last one to one-and-a-half years. I feel they have made a core group of leaders, where captain Virat Kohli is right at the top, after that vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and after that definitely if someone’s name comes, it is Rohit Sharma.”
Rohit Sharma was also named Ajinkya Rahane’s deputy when he joined the Indian squad ahead of the Sydney Test earlier this year.
“In his elegance, Rohit Sharma is the best batsman in the world” – Reetinder Sodhi
While talking about the crucial role the trio of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara will have to play in the England series, Reetinder Sodhi was all praise for the former’s batsmanship. He said:
“A lot here depends on Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara – how these three batsmen catch form in the upcoming series. We all know that in his elegance, Rohit Sharma is the best batsman in the world.”
The former India all-rounder pointed out that Rohit Sharma has emerged as a force to be reckoned with even in Test cricket. Sodhi elaborated:
“He was definitely struggling in Test cricket if we talk about sometime back but now he has stamped his authority in Test cricket. He is a special player as an opener, when he plays he can take the match away for the opposition in a matter of moments.”
Rohit Sharma has enjoyed a new lease of life since he started batting at the top of the order in the game’s longest format. However, most of his success has come in familiar home conditions and he will want to prove his critics wrong by coming up with match-defining knocks during the Test series against England.