I personally hated batting at No. 3: Rohit Sharma

Tags: India tour of South Africa 2023-24, India, Rohit Gurunath Sharma, Shubman Gill

Published on: Jan 03, 2024

Team India captain Rohit Sharma, while replying to a query on Shubman Gill not getting to bat at his preferred opening slot, cheekily admitted that he hated batting at No. 3. Gill has been shifted to the one-down position since India are opening with Rohit and Yashasvi Jaiswal in the series against South Africa.

There are some question marks over Gill after he scored only 2 and 26 in the first Test in Centurion. While the talented batter has a brilliant white ball record at the international level, he hasn’t quite cracked the code in red ball cricket. In 19 matches, he has scored 994 runs at an average of 31.06 with two hundreds and four fifties.

India went down to South Africa by an innings and 32 runs in the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Barring Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, all their other batters failed. Speaking ahead of the second Test at Newlands in Cape Town, which begins on Wednesday, January 3, Rohit was asked about the decision to push Gill down to the No. 3 position.

"It is an individual thing as to how you think about certain batting positions. I personally hated batting at No. 3. That is my opinion on that. Either you open the batting or you wait and go a little down the order - No. 5 or 6. But since I have started opening the batting, from No. 3 onwards to No. 7, I do not think it is the right position for anyone," Rohit commented in light-hearted tone.

"Sometimes when the opener gets injured in the first innings, the No. 3 has to walk out and open the batting. So, I do not see much difference there," he went on to add.

Rohit also confirmed that all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is available for selection, after having missed the first Test due to back spasms. He, however, added that the think tank has not finalized the playing XI yet.

“Although we've had a brief chat with the management, the coaching staff, what we want from this game and what we want from the bowlers in this game, we've not completely finalized our playing level. Obviously, everyone is available for selection. There's no injury concern. All of them who are here are available to play. We'll sit down in the evening,” the 36-year-old said.

The opener also backed the inexperienced Indian bowling attack, especially pacer Prasidh Krishna, who had a poor game on Test debut in Centurion. He hinted that India might not make too many changes in the bowling attack despite the poor performance in the opening Test.

“I still feel that sometimes we've got a little bit of inexperience in our bowling and sometimes when you have that, you got to show some faith in them. Show trust in them and that can happen to any team. But obviously for us, like I said in the last post-match press conference about Prasidh being playing his first game, we all get nervous when you're playing your first game. It's understandable,” Rohit said.

“I'll still back that thought of mine, saying that he's got good ability to succeed at this level and especially in this format. So it's just about showing faith and trust in everyone and getting the job done from them,” he added.

Prasidh registered figures for 1/93 in 20 overs, while Shardul Thakur conceded 101 runs and picked up only one scalp in 19 overs.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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