Home > Features >

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: If picked, Rohit Sharma would strengthen Indian batting

If picked, Rohit Sharma is likely to replace Stuart Binny © Getty Images
If picked, Rohit Sharma is likely to replace Stuart Binny © Getty Images

Reports suggest that Rohit Sharma would be picked for the third Test at Southampton. Normally, MS Dhoni doesn’t change his winning combination, but Rohit’s inclusion may strengthen a batting unit that has shown an unwanted tendency to collapse. Nishad Pai Vaidya looks at the implications of Rohit’s possible selection.

MS Dhoni doesn’t normally believe in changing winning combinations. More often than not, he persists with a successful unit, unless circumstances or conditions warrant otherwise. But, on the eve of the third Test against England at Southampton, there was a word that Rohit Sharma might get a look-in after two games on the bench. At the nets, he got a longer run, which in a way was an indication that the team management are considering him. What are the implications if Rohit comes into the side?

The obvious sacrifice for Rohit’s inclusion would be Binny. Though he essayed a match-saving innings at Nottingham, he failed in the second Test at Lord’s. Picked as a seam-bowling all-rounder, Binny was underused with the ball and perhaps the team management may deem Rohit a better option, bringing in greater value. It will certainly help strengthen the Indian batting line-up, which has been prone to collapses. On this tour, the lower order has done well to pull them out of tough situations.

Rohit would certainly merit a place in the middle order, but where would be take his spot? Since the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit has batted at No 5 with Virat Kohli at No 4. That meant Ajinkya Rahane batted at No 6. In the last two Tests though, Rahane has batted at No 5 and recorded that brilliant ton on Day One at Lord’s.

Given the way he performed at Lord’s, Rahane merits the No 5 spot. There is no point in disturbing his rhythm, now that he found form there. Though Rohit was the preferred No 5 on previous tours, he would have to make do with No 6. Dhoni has done well at No 6, but would have to drop a slot down. Rohit’s inclusion would make this line-up stronger and give it more attacking strength.

If Rohit is picked, he has a chance to improve on his overseas record. In the four Tests away from home, he has had a tough time and hasn’t been able to adjust. In South Africa, he was done in by pace and movement. Even in New Zealand, the moving ball caused him a few problems. On his day, Rohit looks elegant with a dash of laziness. Thus, when he gets out, it looks as if he has thrown it away by falling to his temptation. There does seem to be a tendency to play away from the body at times, which has been his undoing.

It would thus be a very important game for Rohit at Southampton. In four overseas Tests, he has only one fifty and doesn’t do justice to his ability. Given the time he has on his hands to play his strokes, and the obvious timing, it would be unfortunate if he doesn’t succeed in England. All he has to do is wait for the ball and play his strokes, rather than going for it.

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Centurion

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014 (16:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 14, 2014  at Sharjah

Pakistan won by 147 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 13, 2014  at Pallekele

Sri Lanka won by 90 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 12, 2014  at Sharjah

New Zealand won by 4 wkts

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Josh Hazlewood looks back at his 5-wicket haul

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Live Cricket Score, South Africa vs West Indies,1st Test, Day 3 at Centurion: West Indies start sedately

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India reach 71/1 at stumps

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi Preview: Teams prepare for high-octane finale

Anil Kumble Australia India Ishant Sharma Moments in history Ravichandran Ashwin Ricky Ponting South Africa

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Kiwis win toss and elect to bat

Vernon Philander’s timely strikes reduce West Indies to 110 for 2 at Lunch on Day 3

Pakistan cricketers plan visit to terror-hit Peshawar school

India vs Australia 2014-15: Visitors’ tactic to goad Mitchell Johnson backfires

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India’s pathetic bowling performance, Mitchell Johnson’s onslaught and other highlights

India’s inability to dismiss Australia’s tail can have huge impact

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: New Zealand likely XI

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Pakistan likely XI

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here