It was mission accomplished for Rohit Sharma after the national selectors restored faith in him and rewarded his consistency with a spot in the Indian squad for the Test series against West Indies.
Making it to the Test side was the Mumbai captain’s top priority this year, said his school coach Dinesh Lad. “He must be very happy today. He has achieved his goal of making it to the Test squad. His aim was to break into the Test team before the year ends. He has achieved it with still a couple of months to go,” Lad told MiD DAY.
With this opportunity, Sharma who has already featured in 107 ODIs and 36 international T20s, gets a second chance at making his Test debut. The last time he got a call-up in the Test side was in 2010, where he was a certainty to play against South Africa in Nagpur. But destiny had other ideas and Sharma injured himself while playing football during warm-up on the morning of the match. Wriddhiman Saha, the reserve wicketkeeper, made his Test debut instead.
“I’m sure he will not get over-excited this time. He has learnt how to deal it over the years. His aim is to play Test cricket,” said Lad. His coach said Sharma does not need to try anything different as far as preparation for the Test is concerned. “He has matured a lot now. He knows what is right for him. He should continue the way he is approaching every game at the moment.
He is being sensible in his shot selection and not trying to experiment too much. He does not need to be over-cautious in a Test match,” Lad said. Former chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar urged Sharma to capitalise on this opportunity.
“He has been made to wait for a very long time. He must grab this opportunity. He is in terrific form as well,” said Vengsarkar. However, there is a keen battle between Sharma and his Mumbai teammate Ajinkya Rahane for the lone middle-order berth as Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay are likely to open the innings.