One of the big positives for the Indian cricket fans would be the arrival of Rohit Sharma in the squad for the remaining two Tests at SCG and The Gabba. Hitman, as fans call him by, underwent two weeks of quarantine before he could join the team ahead of the third Test. He had suffered a hamstring during the last leg of IPL 2020 in UAE, and since he was not fully fit for the limited-overs on the tour of Australia, he went to NCA to recover from the fitness issue.
On that note, former India chief selector MSK Prasad reckons that either Mayank Agarwal or Hanuma Vihari would have to be dropped to include Rohit Sharma in the playing XI for the SCG Test. However, it is not sure as of present, if Rohit will be batting at the top-order in place of Mayank or in the middle-order replacing Vihari.
Both Hanuma Vihari and Mayank Agarwal couldn’t garner any significant runs in the first two Tests. Mayank averages a mere 7.75 and has amassed just 31 runs in total, while Vihari averages 15.00 with a tally of 45 runs.
Mayank’s scores in the last 6 Test innings read – 7, 3, 17, 9, 0 and 5. Vihari hasn’t done better as well, with scores of – 15, 55, 9, 16, 8 and 21.
On the other hand, Rohit has staggering numbers since 2019, as he averages over 90 in five Tests and has scored 556 runs with 3 hundreds comprising a double ton against the Protea.
“It will be a toss-up between Mayank (Agarwal) and (Hanuma) Vihari. Dropping Mayank will be a tough call since he has scored hundreds and double hundreds over the last 18 months. I am still not sure about Rohit (Sharma) opening because he is coming after a long break. Will he prefer to open or bat in the middle order? That is another question,” said Prasad as quoted by PTI.
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He added, “And what kind of role the team management is expecting from Rohit. That is also a factor. Whether they want Rohit to give the team a flying start or anchor the innings in the middle.”
Having leveled the series 1-1, India will look to extend the dominance in the third Test that will commence on January 7 at SCG.