Home > Features >

Rohit Sharma may not deserve ODI berth, but there are strong reasons for giving him a Test berth

Rohit Sharma may not deserve ODI berth, but there are strong reasons for giving him a Test berth

Rohit Sharma

With scores of 15, 0, 4, 68, 5, 0, 0, 4, 4 and 4 in the last 10 innings, Rohit Sharma doesn’t justify a place in the Indian ODI side, especially when players on the fringes are consistently knocking on the doors of the selectors. However, his prolific scoring in the domestic First-Class could be a case to reward him with a Test berth, says Karthik Parimal.

In 2012, India played a total of 17 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), of which nine ended on a positive note. For a team that had recently scaled the summit, it was a below-par performance. The openers seldom fired, the middle-order — with the exception of Virat Kohli — was not sturdy enough, and no total appeared secure with the frail bowling attack at disposal. Nevertheless, the line-up was rarely revised despite the team’s shortcomings at the Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia and the Asia Cup that followed in Bangladesh. Introspection at that point would have been apt, but it was delayed once a series victory was registered in Sri Lanka.
 
India’s recent performances in T20 Internationals and ODIs have been scratchy to say the least. Players struggling for form since a considerable amount of time are still being persisted with. It’s well known that Mahendra Singh Dhoni backs his players to the hilt; the likes of Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh will testify to that. It’s perhaps the same kind of potential that Dhoni currently sees in Rohit Sharma, however, the latter is yet to repay the faith shown in him. Despite averaging just 12.92, he has figured in 14 of India’s 17 games in 2012.
 
Scores of 15, 0, 4, 68, 5, 0, 0, 4, 4 and 4 in the last 10 innings don’t justify a place in the side, especially when players on the fringes are consistently knocking on the doors of the selectors. Manoj Tiwary has scored 214 runs in his last four outings in ODIs at an average of over 71, yet he was often sidelined. The fact that he’s been ruled out of action for six weeks following a back injury in the ongoing Ranji Trophy does not augur well, but one wonders whether he’d have made the cut even if he was fit. Such has been his plight since the last many months.

Spectacular scores in Ranji Trophy

On the other hand, Rohit Sharma’s struggles on the big stage are difficult to comprehend, considering his prolific run in the domestic tournaments. Every time he fails, he’s sent back to the drawing board, and the rate at which he amasses runs there leaves the selectors no choice but to draft him back into the national side. Playing for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy, he has registered scores of 79 against Rajasthan, 112 against Hyderabad, 203 against Punjab and 166 against Saurashtra. And these knocks were essayed just a few days before the short series against Pakistan commenced. Thereafter, he yet again fumbled in the blues, scoring just 10 runs in the three ODIs.
 
For someone with a First-Class average of over 61, the inability to get going when it actually counts is quite surprising. However, it must be taken into account that Rohit has carved a niche for himself in matches that last either four or five days. Therefore, to rope him in for T20s and ODIs, based on performances in the longer version, and to then discard him for Tests because he failed to deliver in the shorter formats makes little sense. Rohit has played 86 ODIs and 35 T20s thus far, but is yet to make his Test debut. 
 
With the team in transition and new blood walking in, Rohit’s inclusion in the Test side could be a possibility. Nonetheless, he will have to put up respectable scores beside his name at the earliest in whichever format he plays. He’s fortunate to have been given an extended run and for the fact that he’s still on the selectors’ radar. Not many are bestowed with that. A few more false steps and he could soon find himself out of favour.
 
Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara, who’s been making great strides in Test cricket, has thrown his hat in the ring for a berth in the ODI side too. His unbeaten 203 against Madhya Pradesh in the ongoing Ranji Trophy seemed to convey a message to the men who matter. His first fifty in that innings came in a decent 88 deliveries, the second in 63, the third in 51 and the fourth in a staggering 17 balls. Agreed, one swallow does not make a summer, but an average of 57 in List A games is something that will not go unnoticed for long either.
 
With many worthy contenders constantly knocking on the doors of the selectors, Rohit Sharma needs to pull his socks up and live up to the expectations. Such talent does not deserve oblivion.   
 
(Karthik Parimal, a Correspondent with CricketCountry, is a cricket aficionado and a worshipper of the game. He idolises Steve Waugh and can give up anything, absolutely anything, just to watch a Kumar Sangakkara cover drive. He can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/karthik_parimal)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs North Zone, semi-final at Mohali Day 4: Naman Ojha out for 40

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 4: Openers extend lead on fourth morning

Live Cricket Score Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, 1st Test Day 1 at Mirpur: Zimbabwe lose Sibanda in first over

World Cup 1992, England vs Pakistan: Three hours of rain changes course of tournament

David Warner’s transformation into a dependable and effervescent batsman

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Haroon Lorgat expects WICB to sort out issue before South Africa tour

Yasir Shah delighted by Shane Warne’s tweet

Zimbabwe reach 77/2 at lunch against Bangladesh on Day 1 of 1st Test

VVS Laxman: Would love to watch ISL match during my stay in Kolkata

Wasim Bari likely candidate for Pakistan chief selector, team manager

Strangers, Brothers and Cricket— the English novelist CP Snow’s lasting passion for the game

World Cup 1992, England vs Pakistan: Three hours of rain changes course of tournament

David Warner’s transformation into a dependable and effervescent batsman

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here