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Ajinkya Rahane

'Hard to see a special talent like Rohit sitting out' – Ajinkya Rahane

India news

India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane said he finds it "hard to see a special talent like Rohit [Sharma] sitting out" and backed him to come good as an opener in the longest format.

India are hosting South Africa for a three-Test series next month, and a lot of discussion has been centered around Rohit opening the innings ever since he was named in the squad. So far, Rohit has made 27 Test appearances for India, scoring 1,585 runs at 39.62, and also has three hundreds and ten half-centuries to his name.

"I don't know yet whether Rohit will open the innings," Rahane said at a promotional event in Mumbai on Thursday, 26 September. "If he does, I will be happy for him. I said in West Indies also, it is hard to see a special talent like Rohit sitting out."

Rohit is currently ranked at No.2 and No.8 in the MRF Tyres ICC Batting Rankings for One-Day Internationals and Twenty 20 Internationals, respectively. However, he hasn't been able to replicate that form in the red-ball format of the game, due to which he's been in and out of India's Test squad. 

Rohit has never opened an innings in the Test format for India, and the highest he's batted is at No.3, a position on which he averages 21.40, from his four outings, but Rahane backed his team-mate, if given an opportunity, to come good at the top of the order in the forthcoming home Test series against South Africa.

"He has worked so hard and if he gets an opportunity, I am sure, he will do well," Rahane said. "We all know the quality he has – special talent. Test cricket is all about mindset and ODI cricket, you can just go out there and back yourself. In Test cricket, sometimes if two bowlers are bowling good spells, you need to respect that and come out strong and play your game after that."

The first India-South Africa Test takes place at Visakhapatnam on 2 October.

 

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