Rahul’s form a concern, may consider Rohit as Test opener: MSK Prasad

New Delhi: Chief selector of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI),
MSK Prasad has acknowledged that KL Rahul’s form in the Tests is a cause of concern for the team and Rohit Sharma might be considered to open the innings in the five-day format as well.

Rahul managed scores of 44, 38, 13 and 6 in two Tests against West Indies; he wasted opportunities to convert starts in the first Test in Antigua and didn’t get starts in the next game in Jamaica. He hasn’t managed a 50+ score since his 149 against England at the Oval twelve innings back.

“As selection committee we haven’t met after the conclusion of the West Indies tour. We will definitely take this (Rohit as opener) point into consideration when we all meet and discuss about it,” Prasad said.

“KL (Rahul) is definitely a great talent. Of course, he is going through a bit tough time in Test cricket. We are definitely concerned about his form. He needs to spend more time on the wicket and regain his touch and form,” he added.

Earlier, former captain Sourav Ganguly also backed Rohit for the Test opener’s role and said that the star batsman deserved an opportunity in the longest format of the game.

“I had suggested earlier about trying Rohit Sharma as an opener in Test cricket and I still believe that he needs to be given an opportunity because he is too good a player to be left out in the cold,” Ganguly wrote in his column for The Times of India.

Former coach and captain Anil Kumble had expressed his apprehensions of using Rohit as an opener and said that opening in Tests is different as compared to white-ball cricket.

“I am not really sure about pushing Rohit at the top unless it is a desperate situation. Yes, are we in a desperate situation where we are looking for an opener in someone who has done well at the domestic level, is it worth considering that or should Rohit, Yes, he is a high-quality player sitting on the bench, should he be pushed at the top?,” Kumble told Cricketnext.

“I mean those things you need to start looking. Yes, he certainly has the experience, he certainly has the ability to bat anywhere in the batting line-up. Opening the batting in Test matches I think is a bit different to opening in ODIs but having said that, you’ll only know when you push him into that situation.”

He had also suggested that KL Rahul seems to be having a problem with his mindset and doesn’t know when to attack and defend.

“I think he seems to be in a bit of a mindset where he is not really sure whether to attack whether to defend. He is unsure, you can see it in his footwork. I think that’s the problem, it’s all in the mind, yes, there could be some technical issues but then if the mind is not clear, if the thought process is not clear, then that doesn’t help.

“Then your technical issues get exaggerated. So, I think it’s important that he has a clear mind. The support has been there for KL Rahul, I think he needs to start scoring runs in domestic cricket. Once he gets a couple of hundreds in domestic cricket, then gets into a Test match scenario he’ll be a lot more confident.

“I think it’s a confidence issue that is there with KL Rahul, yes that’s a position that probably there’ll be a lot of discussion before the next Test match that India plays in, but having said that, if you have won a Test series then you won’t go in unless there is a replacement, you know Prithvi Shaw is injured, so he’s coming back from that injury as well so unless there is a ready replacement, I am not really sure whether India will be looking at somebody else.”