Sanjay Bangar tips Rohit Sharma to chase down improbable targets as an opener in Tests
The first Test against South Africa will be played in Visakhapatnam from October 2
Updated - Sep 15, 2019 1:11 pm
Rohit Sharma has been given a new lease of life in his Test career after the Indian selection committee named him as the new opener of the Indian Test team for the upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa. Rohit, who was part of the West Indies tour, didn’t get to be part of the two Tests played as Hanuma Vihari was preferred over him and scored a century and two fifties.
This meant that Rohit Sharma, who has batted in the lower middle order ever since his debut for India, might have to be dropped for the South Africa series. But KL Rahul’s poor run of form now means that he will take up the mantle of opening the innings, something he has not done in Tests so far. Though his amazing record in limited over cricket at the top has given hope for others that he will do well, Sanjay Bangar, actually feels that Rohit can do what Sehwag did, intimidate the opponents.
Rohit can help India chase down unachievable targets, Bangar
The former India batting coach Bangar was highly optimistic of the MSK Prasad-led selection committee’s decision to promote the Mumbai batsman to the top, opening new possibilities not only for the batsman but also for the team as well. He believes that Team India will be able to successfully chase down targets they haven’t achieved in the past if Rohit Sharma succeeds at the top of the order in Test cricket.
“If he succeeds, his style of play will be extremely helpful to the team. It might result in being able to successfully chase down targets that we haven’t achieved in the past, like in Cape Town and Edgbaston,” Bangar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
The 32-year-old right-hander has played 27 Tests, scoring 1585 runs at an average of 39.6 with three centuries to his name, two of which came in his first two Tests against West Indies back in 2013. Bangar mentioned that Rohit must keep his individual style of batsmanship of he wants to succeed at the top in his new role which is like oxygen to his dying Test career.
“At the moment, there is no place in the settled middle order in the Test team. Opening will be a new challenge for him since he has rarely done it in the longer formats. But the advantage is that he will get to bat against a hardball with plenty of gaps in the field. He will also not have to wait for his turn to bat, which will save his mental energy,” he added.
The first Test against South Africa will be played in Visakhapatnam from October 2, the second Test will be played in Pune from October 10 and the last Test will be played in Ranchi from October 19.