Rohit Sharma: Hitman or No-Hit?

Rohit Gurunath Sharma has played another test match for India. This time, he made the playing XI ahead of Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara.

While Rohit undoubtedly is a terrific ODI and T20 player, the length of rope he has been given in the test arena continues to boggle the mind. If Virat Kohli is to be believed, Rohit is someone who can change a test match in one session. That might be true if he can stick around for a session. His last contribution was 50 runs off 82 balls across two innings – an average of 25.00 at a strike rate of 60.9- and two dropped catches. Hardly a match-changing performance against a weak bowling attack, one would think. His test average is worse than both Murali Vijay (by 8 runs) and Cheteshwar Pujara (by 14 runs) and his strike rate is only marginally better.

Anyway, having struggled to work out cricketing reasons for his selection (and continuing selection in the ongoing test series if reports are to be believed), let’s forget the statistics. Here are five possible reasons for his selection:

  1. Rohit Sharma has been selected as a specialist sledger. Remember the result of Rohit sledging Mitchell Johnson in Brisbane which woke MJ up and lost India the match? His latest escapade with Darren Bravo was mildly more successful, only costing him 15% of his match fees.
  2. His capacity for making double hundreds in ODI cricket may one day manifest itself in test cricket. After all, how long can someone who has scored 264 in 50 overs average 32.62 in test cricket?
  3. Given that Ravichandran Ashwin averages more than Rohit in test cricket with the bat at a better strike rate, Rohit will be swapping roles with Ashwin and is currently in training to become India’s main off-spinner. He will be looking to improve on his bowling average of 98.50.
  4. The BCCI soon will make it mandatory for India to play all forms of cricket wearing blue.
  5. The Indian test contingent cannot do with his Dubsmash skills.

Go figure. Because we cannot work it why we keep playing Mr. Sharma  in test cricket. Some players just cannot meet the unique challenges of test cricket. Rohit only needs to speak to Yuvraj and Raina and go back to wearing his favourite blue India/Mumbai Indians shirt.

India needs to accept that their limited overs Hitman is a No-Hit in test cricket.

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