Rohit Sharma explains why India didn't pick Pujara or Rahane as Kohli's replacement
There has been ample buzz around the unavailability of Virat Kohli, who will miss the first two Tests against England. The reason behind his absence is uncertain and termed personal. The BCCI has announced a replacement player for the initial two games.
The in-form star player, Rajat Patidar, has come in place of Kohli for these two encounters. The decision has been perplexing, for the management had several other players to choose from who have been piling on runs consistently in the domestic arena. The front-runner to replace Kohli was the ever-consistent Sarfaraz Khan.
Sarfaraz has been the most consistent batter in the First Class cricket in the past couple of years. There have been plenty of questions about his non-selection, but the management and selectors have never cleared anything. Apart from Sarfaraz, India also had the option of an experienced batter like Cheteshwar Pujara.
A veteran batter with vast experience in these conditions would have been handy. The replacement of an experienced player with a veteran seems ideal. However, India chose a fresh face for a massive series rather than going back to experience.
Rohit Sharma explains why India didn't pick an experienced batter as Virat Kohli's replacement
Ahead of the first match, Rohit Sharma attended a press conference, answering different queries from the journalists. The Indian captain also explained the thought process behind the selection of Rajat Patidar over any veteran batter. He said that the youngsters should get their opportunity after shining consistently in the domestic circuit.
“We did actually think about it (picking an experienced batter), but all these younger players, when are they going to get their opportunity? That’s something we thought about as well,” exclaimed Rohit. “Leaving out an experienced player and not considering them is very hard because of the amount of runs they have scored, the kind of experience they have had, and the number of games they have won for us. It is very hard to ignore all of that.”
Rohit further added that the team wants to try young players in favourable conditions rather than exposing them to overseas conditions, where the batting is arduous. He also added that the doors are not closed on anyone, and the players will get their chances on the back of performances.
“But you need to bring certain players into your set-up and give them favourable conditions. You don’t want to expose them on foreign tours where they have not played before. That’s the thought behind all of that. It’s important we try and get these youngsters in whenever there is an opportunity. But I am not saying the doors are closed on anyone; as long as they stay fit and keep scoring runs, anyone will be welcomed back into the set-up.”