Indian captain Rohit Sharma has found himself surrounded by a pack of questions and uncertainties thrown at him after England won the first Test in Hyderabad by 28 runs. Rohit, who returned with scores of 24 and 39 in the two innings as many including Michael Vaughan and Dinesh Karthik said, was defensive and waited for things to happen when Ollie Pope was sweeping and reverse-sweeping the Indian bowlers at will to score 196 and eventually win the match for his side.
England legend Geoffery Boycott has come down heavily on Rohit saying that the Indian captain is past his prime and that he is only playing those cute knocks of 30s and 40s and not the big ones. In his column for The Telegraph, Boycott said, “India badly miss Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja has a hamstring injury and will not play the second Test. Their captain Rohit Sharma is nearly 37 and past his best. He makes pretty cameos but has scored only two Test hundreds at home in four years. They are also weak in the field. They dropped Ollie Pope on 110 and that cost them 86 runs. It lost them the match.”
Rohit might not be in the run-scoring form he would have liked in Test matches at the moment, but he still has a century and a couple of fifties in his last 10 innings, which is a lot better than the bleak picture of other Indian batters. However, the captain will have to pull his weight with a big knock in the second match especially when India will be without Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami.
As per Boycott, this is the moment for England, to hit the hammer when the iron is red-hot given they already have a 1-0 lead in the series. “Once in a while a team are in the right place at the right time to clinch a big series win and England could be in that position right now in India,” Boycott further said. “India are due a defeat at home, the signs are good as they have lost Kohli, Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Rishabh Pant and are playing opponents full of confidence after a remarkable win. England must take this rare opportunity.”
India have added Sarfaraz Khan, Saurabh Kumar and Washington Sundar to the squad with Jadeja and Rahul, the two highest scorers for the team in Hyderabad, unavailable.