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India erred in not picking Rohit Sharma for England Test series, feels Dilip Vengsarkar

Vengsarkar, who has a batting average of 48 in England with three centuries at Lord’s, said India should start preparing for the future challenges.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

With Indian batsmen failing to live up to the expectations in England and losing yet another overseas Test series there, the focus is back on the Rohit Sharma debate. Should the dashing right-hand opener have featured in the Test squad after his impressive show with the bat in the limited-over formats? Well, former Indian captain and selector Dilip Vengsarkar believes Sharma should have been in the team.

India had a forgettable tour when it came to their openers, barring an exception in the third Test at Trent Bridge. They tried all the three openers they took to England – Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul – and none of them really made any mark. None of these three openers could cross even a fifty in any of the four Tests and the management kept on changing the opening combination hoping that one would succeed.

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Only thrice out of eight outings that the Indian openers could put up 50 or more runs. While Dhawan was dropped in the second Test only to return to the third, Vijay failed to find a place in the squad for the last two Tests after a pair at Lord’s and Rahul’s consistent failure might see him sitting out in the final Test.

Vengsarkar, who was thoroughly disappointed with India’s batting performance in the series, blasted the selection committee for not including Rohit in the squad. He felt the Indian batsmen lack the technical skills to survive foreign conditions and wisdom lied in playing an extra batsman and Sharma would fit that role.

Rohit would have been an ideal foil

“I feel India made a big mistake of not having Rohit Sharma for the Test series. I presume Rohit was left out of the squad because he has been inconsistent at the Test match level but having stroke players whose defensive technique is found wanting, followed by batsmen who believe in only defending, Rohit would have been an ideal foil for captain Virat Kohli,” Mumbai Mirror quoted the ‘Colonel’ as saying.

Taking a dig at the selectors, Vengsarkar also said: “By discarding him (Rohit), the selectors, it seemed, didn’t apply their minds as to who would succeed in the English conditions and to create a backup plan.”

Sharma had a poor Test outing in South Africa earlier this year and was also ignored for the one-off Test versus Afghanistan in June.

Vengsarkar, who has a batting average of 48 in England with three centuries at Lord’s, said India should start preparing for the future challenges. The 62-year-old said Prithvi Shaw, who has been picked for the final two Tests, should be made to play ahead of one of the openers at The Oval to kick off that preparatory phase.

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