New Delhi: Former wicketkeeper-batsman Saba Karim feels swashbuckling opener Rohit Sharma has to play a mentor’s role for the next generation of openers for Team India. Rohit has been a mainstay in India’s limited-overs squad for the last decade and now with a new role as an opener he has managed to cement his place in the Test team also.

Team India faced a lot of scrutiny after bottling their chance to win the inaugural World Test Championship. India lost to New Zealand in the summit clash after below-par batting performances in both innings.

The Virat Kohli and Co. are currently in England for the five-match Test series which will kickstart the cycle for the second World Test Championship.

Karim feels that opening partnership is very crucial to taste success in the English conditions as Rohit has to play the role of mentor for other young openers in the squad.

“Talking to him [Rohit] is very necessary as he has to play a mentor’s role for the other new openers coming in. The conditions are tough there for batting and if you have an opening partnership there and your top-order clicks, you create a brilliant platform to put up a big score,” Karim said on India News.

Saba further elaborated on Rohit’s role in the Team India Test set-up as he claims that he is among the core group of leaders after Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane.

“Rohit Sharma has got a different role for Team India in the last one to one-and-a-half years. I feel they have made a core group of leaders, where captain Virat Kohli is right at the top, after that vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and after that definitely if someone’s name comes, it is Rohit Sharma.”

The first Test match between India and England will start from August 4 at Trent Bridge.