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Rohit Sharma could be victim of rotation policy

Published: Thursday, February 9, 2012, 15:58 [IST]
 
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Raina or Rohit to be rested in next ODI?

Adelaide, Feb 9: After two successive failures in India's first two matches in the triangular series, talented middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma wears the expression of a man who is waiting to be shown the door any time.

Ironically, it's his own batting colleagues who could be sending him the distressing signals.

After spending the entire Test series on the sidelines, Rohit failed to deliver with the bat in the first two matches of the tri-series and to make matters worse for the right-hander, he is now made to understand that his place in the playing eleven is at the expense of one of three senior openers - Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

To add to it, the fact that Rohit is India's best limited overs batsman since the last World Cup is not enough to guarantee him a place in the playing eleven.

After the four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Perth on Wednesday, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that Rohit was the reason why the three senior batsmen were being rotated around.

"We would look to rotate (in Adelaide also). I want Rohit to play as many games as possible. It gives him an opportunity to get set. We can afford to give him chances in the first leg of the tournament," Dhoni had said.

Dhoni's sentiments, on the face of it, are laudable. But Rohit should not be made a scapegoat as another youngster - Suresh Raina was no better with the bat in the first two ODIs.

The three young batsmen who man the middle order are Virat Kohli, Rohit and Raina.

But Kohli doesn't come in the scenario as he is in the form of his life and is a natural starter in the eleven.

But Raina is a different story. The left-hander has scored only two half centuries from 22 matches since the last World Cup. Rohit, in contrast, has six in 13 games.

Raina's best average in any series since the World Cup is 44-odd, while Rohit, in two full series since the World Cup, averaged 128 and 76 plus.

The idea to rotate the top three in order to give chance to a young middle-order batsman is a sound one, but to mark out Rohit as reason for rotation is grossly unfair to the Mumbai lad.

Virender Sehwag, a man not known for his diplomacy, at least avoided to pinpoint anyone when asked about the reason for rotation.

He said the rotation in the top order was largely intended to give opportunity to youngsters to get used to the Australian conditions, where the next World Cup will be staged in 2015.

But the reality is Rohit was as much a failure in the first two ODIs as Raina.

In Perth last night, Rohit failed to keep his cut down, while Raina got out attempting a lofted stroke against the line and length of the delivery.

The case of Rohit is symptomatic of quite a few issues which are wrong with the present Indian team.

It's difficult to explain why there is no vice-captain named for the present triangular series. In England, the selectors were quick to name Suresh Raina as Dhoni's deputy even though his form in preceding Tests was horrible.

Contrast this with Australia. The grooming of vice-captain for the higher honours is an extremely thought out decision.

Ricky Ponting learnt his trade at from Steve Waugh, while Michael Clarke earned his spurs under the tutelage of Ponting.

PTI

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