Rohit Sharma Test cricket
Rohit Sharma (Getty Images)

India are still to play a Test in their ongoing tour of England but the postmortem of their yet another overseas series defeat has already begun. India came to the England shores with high expectations but their hopes were extinguished after losing in Southampton which helped England clinch the five-Test series 3-1 on Sunday.

Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar has claimed that India committed a big mistake by overlooking Rohit Sharma for the England Test series. Despite making his Test debut in 2013, Rohit has not managed to cement his place in India whites, owing to inconsistent performances over the past five years.

His most recent appearance in the longest format came in South Africa earlier this year where he was preferred over Ajinkya Rahane. However, after ordinary scores in the first two Tests, he was dropped for the final Test of the tour.

But Vengsarkar, who scored 6868 runs in 116 Tests for India, feels that Rohit would have been an ‘ideal foil’ for Virat Kohli, the leading run-getter of the series.

“I feel India made a big mistake of not having Rohit Sharma for the Test series,” Vengsarkar was quoted as saying by the Mumbai Mirror on Tuesday. “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.”

He criticised the selectors for not having a back-up plan for England conditions which are considered tough for batsmen. “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 back-up plan,” he said.

India sent Murali Vijay home from England after the first three Tests and called uncapped Prithvi Shaw and Hanumar Vihari in the squad for the remaining two matches.

Vengsarkar, the former India captain, feels since India have already lost the series, they should punt on the 19-year-old Shaw even though he feels a home series would have been ideal to give the Mumbai batsman a tastes of international cricket.

“Since they have selected young Prithvi Shaw, they should play him in the last Test match as both the openers failed time and again, though I feel it would be right to induct Prithvi in a home series rather than in England. However, the selectors have shown confidence in him and since the series is lost, there’s no harm in trying the talented young man,” he said.