Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has urged all fans to be less critical of players, especially senior batsman Rohit Sharma, ahead of the second Test against England, starting on Saturday in Chennai.
A match-winner in the shorter formats, Rohit Sharma’s test average has dipped somewhat since his comeback in the Sydney Test last month. Even though he scored a 52 at the SCG, it remained his only half-century across his last 6 Test innings.
However, Rahane has backed Rohit and asked fans not to judge a player based on a small sample space.
Rohit returned to the Test side after serving his quarantine ahead of the third and penultimate Test versus Australia . Since then, he has had scores of 26, 50, 44, 7, 6 & 12. While Rohit has looked in decent touch, he has failed to convert his starts into substantial scores and was out cheaply in his last 3 test knocks.
Ahead of the second Test between India and England, Rahane supported Rohit and claimed that he’s an important player and can’t be judged on the basis of 4-5 innings.
” Rohit is an important member of our team. A big score doesn’t mean you have to make 100 or 150. In Australia he batted well, made important contributions. See if someone has one off-day, plays 3-4 bad innings, it doesn’t mean that he is a bad player. You have to back your player,” Rahane told the media on Thursday.
“Rohit is a player who has won us many matches in the past. You can’t judge a player in 1-2 matches or 4-6 innings. You know that someone like Rohit, if he gets set, he goes on to play a big innings. He can win matches for you. So it is all about having faith in that particular player. As I said Rohit is an important member of our team. Really happy to have him,” he added.
Rohit fell to Jofra Archer and Jack Leach, respectively, during India’s 227-run loss to England in the 1st test at Chennai. In the 2nd innings he was admittedly out to a great delivery. While inexperienced Shubman Gill was looking in sublime form, his senior partner Rohit has failed to get going . Hopefully, he will be raring to go when India face England in the second Test, from Saturday (February 13).
Though the Indian thinktank has expressed their willingness to back their openers, Rohit will know that few more failures will raise more questions on his Test career which remains below his standards so far, especially when compared to his high quality limited-overs records.
**By Amitava Mukherjee