Ahead of the much-awaited India’s away Test series against the mighty Aussies, the Hitman has made a strong statement. With the likes of Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, and Shubman Gill in the squad, the race for the openers spot is tougher much more than ever. India’s limited-overs mainstay Rohit Sharma was tried as a Test opener in the last home series against South Africa. But with Virat Kohli set to leave the tour midway after the first Test, the chances of Rohit Sharma being drafted into the middle order to strengthen that department cannot be ruled out. The Hitman himself has cleared the doubt regarding the topic in his latest interview.
This Australian series is Rohit Sharma’s first away series as an opener. He had a forgettable start to his Test career, where he batted predominantly in the middle order. But after being drafted into the top of the order, he has been a revelation. In his very first Test as an opener, he scored centuries on both innings and even followed it up with a double century in the same series. He missed the New Zealand tour that followed due to an injury and was looking eagerly at this Australian series to make up for his bad Test numbers in away tours. But the presence of multiple openers in the squad along with the absence of captain Kohli from the last three tests have raised questions regarding his position. To clear the air, he himself has now spoken about the issue and clarified that he was open to batting at whichever position that the team asks him to do.
“I will tell you the same thing that I have told everyone all this while. I will be happy to bat wherever the team wants me to but I don’t know if they would change my role as an opener,” Rohit Sharma was quoted as saying by India Tv.
“I’m sure the guys already in Australia must have figured out what are options when Virat leaves and who are the guys who will open the innings. Once I reach there, I will probably have a clearer idea of what’s going to happen. I will be okay to bat wherever they want,” he added.
The one aspect that has troubled Indian batsmen in the past in the Australian tours is the bouncy nature of the tracks. Facing the likes of Starc, Cummins, and Hazelwood can be a tough task for any batsman. But Rohit feels that the pitches there have changed and they are not bouncy as they used to be.
“We talk about bounce but except for Perth, over the past few years, the other grounds (Adelaide, MCG, SCG), I don’t think have that much bounce. Nowadays, especially while opening the batting, I will have to think about not playing the cut or pull shots and focus on playing in the ‘V’ and as straight as possible,” he said.
He is currently not in Australia but is at the NCA in Bengaluru for his rehabilitation.
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