Former India explosive opener Virender Sehwag has said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selectors did a mistake by not including a backup opener for Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill in India’s squad for rescheduled Test against England.
Originally, India had three openers in the squad for the one-off Test against England including, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Shubman Gill. Rahul suffered a groin injury and got ruled out of the Test match but India didn’t include any extra opener in the team.
Later, Rohit Sharma was tested positive for Covid-19 and he is doubtful for the rescheduled Test against England. The news of Rohit getting tested positive for Covid-19 came after the third day’s play of the warm-up match between India and Leicestershire.
Meanwhile, former India opener Sehwag said that the selectors did a mistake by not taking Covid-19 into consideration.
“I think there is a mistake on the part of selectors that we didn’t take an extra opener as back-up. Because everyone thought Rohit is fit, Shubman Gill is fit. No one anticipated this Covid factor. One or two extra players always go and in days of Covid, you have 20-22 extra players. If you have a 22-man squad and you don’t have an extra opener, it’s a big mistake on your part,” he told Sony’s pre-match show for India vs Ireland ‘Extra Innings.’
If you do make someone a makeshift opener, you have to give him confidence – Virender Sehwag
Sehwag further mentioned that with Rohit being doubtful for the Test match, India would ask Cheteshwar Pujara or Srikar Bharat to open the innings with Shubman Gill. He also said that India will have to give confidence to the “makeshift opener”.
“Someone will be asked to open. Maybe Pujara, maybe KS Bharat. Now if Bharat opens and he fails, will he get another chance? Pujara had made an excellent comeback, if he doesn’t score, will he play again?” he said.
“If you do make someone a makeshift opener, you have to give him confidence. ‘that okay, you put yourself above the team, we will back you in the future’.”
The 5th and last Test match of the series between India and England, which was cancelled last year, will be played at the Edgbaston, Birmingham from Friday, July 1.
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