All eyes on Rohit Sharma as South Africa set for Test series warm-up vs Board President’s XI

first_imgAll eyes on Rohit Sharma as South Africa set for Test series warm-up vs Board President’s XIRohit Sharma will be leading the Board President’s XI against the visiting South African side during a 3-day match starting on Thursday, which will serve as a warm-up for the 3-Test series between India and SA starting on October 2.advertisement Next Press Trust of India VizianagaramSeptember 25, 2019UPDATED: September 25, 2019 12:32 IST Rohit Sharma will be leading the Board President’s XI side vs South Africa (Reuters)HIGHLIGHTSRohit Sharma has been selected into the Indian Test squad as an openerRohit’s Test record doesn’t reflect his true potential as a batsmanIt remains to be seen whether while opening in Tests, he can excel in the same way as he has done in white-ball cricketRohit Sharma will begin a last-ditch effort to save his stop-start Test career with a trial run in the unfamiliar opener’s slot when he leads the Board President’s XI in a three-day warm-up game against South Africa, starting here on Thursday.With the national selection committee and the team management deciding to promote Rohit as an opener, keeping his spunky strokeplay in mind, the next five Tests could be a make or break for the 32-year-old stylish right-hander.He will have Mayank Agarwal for company as the two would look to strike an understanding before the first Test starting on October 2 in Visakhapatnam.The third notable character in the game would be Umesh Yadav, who has been drafted into the Test side as an injured Jasprit Bumrah’s replacement.He will look to rattle the likes of Faf Du Plessis and Aiden Makram in order to make a statement.But the focus from Thursday will undoubtedly be on Rohit.One of the modern-day greats in the white-ball format, Rohit’s average of 39.62 in 27 Tests, including three hundreds, doesn’t do justice to his potential.Red-ball vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and the fast-rising Hanuma Vihari consolidated their middle-order slots with impressive performances in the West Indies and the only remaining option for Rohit was to bat at the top.The three-day game against the quality red-ball attack of South Africa, comprising Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi, will be a good dress rehearsal before the opening game in Visakhapatnam.Rohit’s technique against the moving red SG, Dukes or Kookaburra has been suspect but this is an inspired punt that Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri are ready to take keeping Virender Sehwag’s stupendous success in mind.advertisementIf it clicks, this will be considered a masterstroke but if it doesn’t, the A team’s supply line of openers comprising Shubman Gill, Abhimanyu Easwaran and Priyank Panchal will be there.Not to forget KL Rahul, who would look to score heavily and get his place back and Prithvi Shaw, also hungry as ever after having served a doping ban and learnt harsh lessons of life.Even if Rohit succeeds on the low and slow sub-continental tracks, there’s no guarantee that he would be able to replicate it on the grounds in New Zealand, where Trent Boult promises to bring it back in repeatedly.The road ahead will be tricky for one of India’s finest ODI openers as the next six months will decide his fate in the game’s traditional format.The Squads:Board President’s XI: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, AR Easwaran, Karun Nair, Siddhesh Lad, KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Jalaj Saxena, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Avesh Khan, Ishan Porel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh YadavSouth Africa Test squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma (vc), Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rudi Second.Match Starts: 9.30 am.Also Read | Aiming for a comeback that’s stronger than the setback: Jasprit BumrahAlso Read | Only love, enjoyment and entertainment: Tabraiz Shamsi shares picture with Shikhar DhawanFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAjay Tiwari Tags :Follow Rohit SharmaFollow India vs South AfricaFollow Mayank Agarwallast_img read more

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