Rohit Sharma axed for one-off Test against Afghanistan, coach Dinesh Lad shocked
Rohit Sharma had a poor run in the South Africa Test series where he managed just 78 runs in four innings
Rohit Sharma tackles the South African bowling on the final day of the second Test at Supersport Park in Centurion earlier this year. Pic/AFP
Rohit Sharma's non-inclusion for the one-off Test against Afghanistan (June 14 to 18 in Bangalore) has shocked his childhood coach Dinesh Lad. At a time when skipper Virat Kohli will miss the Test to play county cricket in preparation for the England series, Lad felt Rohit would have come in handy.
"Looking at Rohit's ability and his Test performance in India. I think he should have been an automatic choice for the Afghanistan Test. I am shocked that he is not selected. In the absence of Kohli, a batsman of Rohit's calibre would make India's batting line-up much stronger," Lad told mid-day yesterday.
Rohit had a poor run in the South Africa Test series where he managed just 78 runs in four innings. In 16 overseas Tests, Rohit has only four half centuries under his belt. In nine home Test matches, Rohit has scored 769 runs with three tons and five half centuries.
While he averages 85.44 at home, his stats take a severe beating overseas where his average dips to 25.36. Chief selector MSK Prasad said this was the best time to include Karun Nair, India's second triple Test centurion, who scored over 600 runs in the last Ranji Trophy season.
"This was the best opportunity for us to give Karun a chance because he's been doing well," said Prasad when asked why Rohit was dropped. Yesterday's exclusion could also shatter Rohit's aim to play the five-Test series in England from August 1. "I would like to advice him to take the longer format more seriously. To get used to this format, he has to play more Ranji Trophy games," Lad said.
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