Rohit Sharma as opener? Ajinkya Rahane doesn't know

Updated: Sep 27, 2019, 08:15 IST | Subodh Mayure | Mumbai

India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane claims he is unaware about whether fellow Mumbai batsman will open the innings during Test series v South Africa

Rohit Sharma. Pic/Getty Images
Rohit Sharma. Pic/Getty Images

India's chairman of selectors MSK Prasad revealed recently that Rohit Sharma, whose overseas struggles as a Test batsman are well documented, could be tried out as an opener in the forthcoming two-Test series against South Africa. However, Ajinkya Rahane, the vice-captain of the Test team claimed that he was not sure of that happening.

'Rohit will do well'

"Rohit is opening the innings? I don't know yet, I don't know whether he will open the innings. If he opens, I'll be really happy. As I said in the West Indies, it is hard to see a player like him sitting out. He works so hard. If he gets an opportunity, I'm sure he will do well. We all know the quality he has; he's a special talent," said Rahane in reply to mid-day's query about Rohit's new role during a media interaction at the Indian Oil office in Bandra-Kurla Complex yesterday.

Ajinkya Rahanea
Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane interacts with the media at the Bandra-Kurla Complex yesterday. Pic/ Sneha Kharabe

Rohit, who has played 27 Tests, made his debut against West Indies in 2013, scoring 177 while batting at No. 6 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Rohit has scored 1585 runs at an average of 39.62 in 27 Tests which includes three centuries (all on home soil). In ODIs, the star Mumbai batsman has plundered 8,686 runs in 218 games. However, Rahane stressed that red-ball cricket is a different ball game altogether. "I think Test cricket is all about the mindset and in ODI cricket, we all know that you can go out there and back yourself. In Test cricket sometimes, if two bowlers are bowling good spells, you have to respect that, come out strongly and play your game after that. So, if Rohit plays, I will be really happy," remarked Rahane.

Focus on SA series

Rahane, who scored 271 runs in the two-Test series against West Indies last month, which included a century after a gap of two years, is focusing on the home Test series against South Africa starting at Visakhapatnam on October 2. "When you've finished one series and you go into another one in a one or two months, you are just going to prepare yourself and focus on fitness. At the moment, I am focusing on my recovery, taking ice baths, having pool sessions. Apart from training sessions,
your recovery is also very important."

Rohit Sharma's average batting at No. 6. He has scored 1037 runs including three hundreds batting lower down the order

No. of runs scored by Rohit Sharma in 27 Tests

Also Read: All eyes on Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav in warm-up vs South Africa

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