KL Rahul over Rohit Sharma, a Wise Decision? 

kl rahul & rohit sharma

Having tasted defeat at the hands of England and South Africa in Tests, India have returned to winning ways, registering wins in their last three test series against West Indies (Home and Away) and Australia. 

Over the last couple of years, India’s fast bowling has improved by leaps and bounds and has even looked more impactful than India’s batting against the sides like South Africa, England, and Australia. 

Apart from that, Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari’s performance in West Indies in the last test series have further solved the middle-order woes with both sealing their spot for the upcoming South Africa tests.

India have made a wonderful start to the ICC World Test championship registering 2-0 win against West Indies, and thereby claiming 120 points in what has been their first assignment in the inaugural edition of the test championship.   

IND vs WI Test

While India have seemingly formed a competent line up for the upcoming South Africa tests, one thing that will surely be discussed by the selection panel on Thursday will be the opener combination conundrum. 

Post the exclusion of Shikhar Dhawan from the test side, KL Rahul has been consistently given opportunity in a bid to fill the opening slot in the Tests. However, the Indian cricketer has failed to impress, having not scored a single half-century in India’s last three test series.  

44, 38, 13, 6, 9, 2, 44, 2, 0, 0, 4, and 33- Kl Rahul’s numbers in the last three test series are certainly not impressive and one wouldn’t get too shocked if he loses his place in the playing eleven for the upcoming tests against South Africa. 

The man who could be the most-suited to replace him for the opening slot is none other than India’s limited-overs side’s vice-captain Rohit Sharma.

Mumbai Indians captain, Rohit Sharma has been in exceptional form of late, boasting of the most number of runs scored in the 2019 World Cup. 

In a bid to provide solidity in the middle-order, Rohit Sharma was even picked in the Indian squad for the West Indies test series, however, was not picked in the playing eleven in any of the tests.

While Hanuma Vihari’s impressive knocks have perhaps sealed his place in the middle-order, KL Rahul’s form at the top of the order might make way for Rohit, who is yet to open the innings in test career. 

Indian selection committee chairman, MSK Prasad has hinted that Rohit Sharma can be accommodated into the test-playing eleven in the opening slot. 

MSK Prasad

As selection committee, we haven’t met after the conclusion of the West Indies tour. We will definitely take this (Rohit as opener) point into consideration when we all meet and discuss about it,” Prasad, a former India wicketkeeper, told ‘India Today’.

KL (Rahul) is definitely a great talent. Of course, he is going through a bit of a tough time in Test cricket. We are definitely concerned about his form. He needs to spend more time on the wicket and regain his touch and form,” he said.

 Astonishingly, Rohit Sharma has played 27 Test matches in his career so far, but has not opened the innings in a single Test. He has scored 1585 runs in 27 Tests matches at an average of 39.62, including 3 hundreds and 10 fifties. 

While, Rohit Sharma has performed exceptionally at number six position, scoring 1037 runs in 16 matches at an average of 54.57, but given his number at the opening slot in the ODIs, he won’t be a bad option to experiment at top of the tournament. Furthermore, with Murli Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan out of the contention and Prithvi Shaw being banned for doping, Rohit Sharma would be the perfect pick to replace KL Rahul at top of the order. 

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly also asserted that Rohit Sharma must replace Rahul at the top of the order who hasn’t inspired a lot of confidence in recent times. 

I had suggested earlier about trying Rohit Sharma as an opener in Test cricket and I still believe that he needs to be given an opportunity because he is too good a player to be left out in the cold,” Sourav Ganguly wrote in his column for The Times of India.

 After a fantastic World Cup, I believe he will be itching to grab the opportunity to open in Tests. With Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari settling in nicely, there is not much left to play around in the middle order.”

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