When will the likes of Panchal and Easwaran get chance: Mongia
Abhimanyu Easwaran (IANS Photo)

Former India international Nayan Mongia has questioned the selectors for ignoring the likes of Abhimanyu Easwaran and Priyank Panchal despite them being consistent performers in domestic circuit.

Interview: Being in the present, Easwaran makes the right noises

The Indian team is in the hunt for a new Test opener to partner Mayank Agarwal with Prithvi Shaw, who made a dazzling debut last year against West Indies, unavailable due to his doping ban.

And in their efforts to fit in limited-overs star Rohit Sharma in red-ball cricket, the BCCI selectors have put their faith in him to open the innings in the upcoming home series against South Africa.

Rohit, who has earlier played in the middle-order, has been unable to establish himself in Test cricket and the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari have cemented their places making it even more difficult for the Mumbai batsman to break into the playing XI.

But Mongia feels that it’s time selectors should give domestic performers a chance to prove themselves at the international stage. “Why not give chances to those who’ve scored 1,000-800 runs in a season as an opener? The likes of Panchal and Easwaran are averaging 50-60 in domestic cricket. When are they going to get a chance? It’s demotivating for them,” Mongia told The Times of India.

Easwaran, the newly appointed Bengal captain, has scored 4,067 runs at 49.59 while Gujarat skipper Priyank Panchal has 6186 runs at 54.14 in first-class cricket.

Mongia, a wicketkeeper-batsman, who played 44 Tests and 140 ODIs, feels opening in Test cricket is a specialised job and sticking to his natural game would benefit Rohit.

“Opening is a specialised job, like ’keeping. He’s (Rohit) been opening in limited-overs cricket, but Test cricket requires a massive adjustment in mindset. Unless, of course, he decides to stick to what he does in limited-overs cricket — go for the ball. He must stick to his strengths, rather than change his game according to Test cricket. If he does that, it may affect his limited-overs game,” Mongia said.