Wednesday, August 10, 2022

‘Everyone thought Rohit was fit. 1-2 extra players always go in Covid days’: Sehwag slams selectors for ‘big mistake’

India suffered a major setback in the form of Rohit Sharma, who tested positive for Covid-19 a few days before the rescheduled fifth Test against England. The all-format captain was playing in a four-day warm-up match against Leicestershire but did not bat in his second innings on the third day of Saturday. The rescheduled Test begins at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Friday, but it remains to be seen whether Rohit recovers in time. (Also Read | ‘Remember the last time Virat scored 100 runs? I don’t either’: Sehwag makes big prediction, says Kohli’s ‘bad days’ are over,

Mayank Agarwal has been called to join the Indian team in the UK as captain’s cover, who is currently in isolation. With KL Rahul still recovering from a back injury, India face a tough challenge when it comes to finding the right opening pair against England. Currently, India have Shubman Gill, with KS Bharat and Cheteshwar Pujara as Rohit’s substitutes at the top.

Amid the opening puzzle, former India opener Virender Sehwag has questioned the selectors on not having a backup player in the age of Covid-19. He named Bharat and Pujara as the team’s ‘temporary’ openers in case Rohit remains unavailable for the crucial Test.

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“I think there is a mistake on the part of the selectors that we did not take an extra opener as a backup. Because everyone thought Rohit was fit, Shubman Gill was fit. No one expected this covid factor. One or two extra players always go and you have 20-22 extra players in Covid days. If you have a 22-man squad and you don’t have an extra opener, it’s a big mistake on your part,” Sehwag said while speaking on Sony’s pre-match show for India vs Ireland ‘Extra Innings’.

“Someone will be asked to open. Maybe Pujara, maybe KS Bharat. Now if Bharat opens up and he fails, will he get another chance? Pujara had a great comeback, will he play again if he doesn’t score?

“If you make someone a temporary opener, you have to give him confidence. “Well, you put yourself above the team, we will support you in the future”, he added.

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The headlines will now be Agarwal, who will act as a cover for Rohit. Agarwal has so far scored 1488 runs in 21 Tests at an average of 41.33. His last Test match for India was at home against Sri Lanka in March.

India lead 2-1 after four matches and have a chance of winning their first Test series in England since 2007. The match was originally scheduled to be played at Manchester’s Old Trafford last September, but a coronavirus outbreak in India’s camp forced the test to be postponed.


Nation World News Desk
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