If you pick a big player like Rohit Sharma in the team then respect and play him: Mohammad Azharuddin

He also felt Rohit can open the innings instead of KL Rahul.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

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Team India is in a commanding position in the ongoing first Test against Windies. In response to India’s 297, the hosts have slipped to 189/8 courtesy Ishant Sharma’s five-wicket haul. But Virat Kohli and the management’s decision to bench Rohit Sharma hasn’t gone down well with the many. Mohammad Azharuddin is the latest one to comment on the matter and feels that a player like Rohit can’t be benched if he’s in the squad.

Rohit had played in the Australia tour and is in good form as far as the Test series is concerned. He has scored five half-centuries and a century in his last 15 innings in the whites and according to many, he should’ve played ahead of Hanuma Vihari. But Ajinkya Rahane, after Day 1, confirmed that the team combination led to India’s limited-overs vice-captain being left out of the team.

India went only with four bowlers in the Antigua Test and Vihari’s ability to roll his arm over might be the reason for him being favoured ahead of Rohit.

He should get a run

Mohammad Azharuddin highlighted his recent in the longest format and felt he should’ve been in the playing XI for the series opener against the Windies. He also batted for him to play at number five and felt a big player like Rohit Sharma deserves some respect. Moreover, Azhar also batted for Rohit to open the innings in Tests ahead of KL Rahul.

“As far as Hanuma Vihari has concerned, he has got enough chances. If you are picking a player like Rohit Sharma in the squad, then I think you should play him in the XI. Because according to me, his record is not at all bad. The stats are there to see. He is such a good player and does well in ODIs also. So he deserves a long run in the Tests.

“Rather he can open the innings also. KL Rahul has also got so many chances. He was rather sent back from Australia due to his performances. He is so inconsistent. So Rohit should’ve played and if you pick such a big player then you should play him and respect him,” Azhar said while speaking to Aaj Tak.

India’s position in the ongoing Antigua Test is strong at the moment and even Vihari scored well in the first innings stitching a decent partnership. It remains to be seen if Rohit Sharma gets a chance in the final Test.