New Delhi: The Indian strategy of landing 5 bowlers at Melbourne Test has worked well but Ajinkya Rahane’s team will face a selection dilemma, especially when Rohit Sharma returns at the next Test in Sydney. A difficult decision will have to be made after the start of the heats.
Rohit Sharma was quite successful as the home series opener last year against South Africa, but his lack of training and first-rate play in the current situation looks questionable.
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Head coach Ravi Shastri said after the Melbourne victory: “ We are going to talk to him and see what the physical situation is because he has been in quarantine for 2 weeks. You also have to see how he feels.
Rohit reached Melbourne on Wednesday. Shubman Gill impressed in his first test, so either Mayank Agarwal or Hanuma Vihari will have to be out when Rohit returns.
Mayank is still in bad shape in this series and can hit double digits once. He didn’t appear to be as strong a drummer as he was on the 2018 tour. By the way, the decision to kick them out will be quite difficult.
Earlier this year the Test against New Zealand as opener Rohit Sharma would have been a real test but he was injured.
He’s also recovering from an injury this time around and from the last game he played in the IPL final on November 10. The batting challenge in Australia will be very difficult at the start of the heats.
The former head of the MSK Prasad selection committee believes that the removal of Mayank or Vihari will be the only option when Rohit returns. He said, “One of the Mayanks or Vihari will have to come out. Mayank is difficult to fire because he has marked a century and a double century in the last 18 months.
Prasad said: “ It will also have to be seen whether Rohit starts the heats after a long break or not. Maybe he wants to put himself in the middle order. Former India chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar said Rohit and KL Rahul could be lined up by excluding both Vihari and Mayank.
He said: “Shubman Gill was very influential. He has both competence and consistency. In place of Mayank, I would like to replace Rahul (KL Rahul) and Rohit in place of Vihari (Hanuma Vihari).
He said, “I would like to see Rohit at number four or five. Rahul is on the beat and has been in Australia for some time. Mayank is a good player but still suffers from a lack of confidence. Rahane is also on pace and the Indian team looks strong.