India have announced the squad for the upcoming test against South Africa and Rohit Sharma is all set to open for India as well. Captain Virat Kohli on Tuesday has backed him, saying his promotion to up in the order in Tests would give enough “space” to find his game in the longer format of the game as well.
Rohit Sharma is one of the dangerous players in the limited-overs for India. However, he wasn’t that much successful in Tests. Although former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh praised the team management’s decision to push Rohit top of the order and said he should be given time there.
“…if he does that (succeeds in the opening role), then our batting order at the top becomes more lethal. It is difficult to have a player like that to not start every time,” said Kohli on the eve of the first Test. “…if he comes into his own then the whole batting order looks a completely different batting order anywhere in the world.”
“We are not looking to rush him. There is a different pattern you follow in India and different abroad. Opening is a spot where you have to give a player space to understand his own game. He will be given space to find his game and come into his own,” added Kohli.
The captain further said that it would be great if Rohit can play the way Virender Sehwag did in his time for India. However, he said that the team is not looking for any specific kind of approach from him as of now.
“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,” he explained.
Kohli said Rohit is experienced enough to improvise his game and provide a good start to the team. He further revealed that the idea of promoting Rohit at the top of the order was considered much before but couldn’t be implemented earlier.
“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. 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,” expressed Kohli.
With the World Test Championship points up for grabs, Kohli said Rohit’s success will help the team. However, India have seen a couple of changes in the opening slot in the last couple of years but hardly a few stayed there for long.
“We have given people opportunities in the past. Mayank (Agarwal) came into the syetem, KL had been there for a while, (Murali) Vijay was there for a while. But we feel because we have a Test championship to look forward to and Rohit’s been in the Test set up for a long time it’s about providing him the opportunity and find that template that he wants to in Test cricket,” he concluded.