Former wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim has urged Team India captain Rohit Sharma to lift his game with the bat. Admitting that the 34-year-old is doing a commendable job as leader, Karim added that he needs to stand up and deliver with the willow as well.
With Rohit as captain, Team India thumped West Indies 3-0 in both the ODI and T20I series. Under his leadership, India also whitewashed Sri Lanka 3-0 in the T20 rubber before hammering the same team by an innings and 222 runs in the first Test in Mohali. On the batting front, though, Rohit has only registered one fifty in his last 10 international innings.
Speaking about the Indian skipper’s lack of runs since taking over the full-time captaincy, Karim said on the Khelneeti podcast:
“It will be very important for Rohit Sharma to perform with the bat. He has led very well but you become a good or a great captain with the support of the team. He needs to contribute personally as well and keep adding value to the team. So yes, the next Test will be a challenge for him.”
Rohit registered scores of 44, 1 and 5 in the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka and scored 29 in the first Test in Mohali.
“He will need to convert his starts into big scores” – Saba Karim on Indian opener Mayank Agarwal
Asked if he sees India making any changes for the pink-ball Test starting on Saturday in Bengaluru, Karim replied that the hosts are likely to go in with the same batting combination.
There are some question marks over Mayank Agarwal’s place at the top of the order. However, Karim stated:
“Expect India to go in with the same opening combination. Why would you want to change things after just one Test match? Mayank has scored plenty of runs in Indian conditions. He wasn’t struggling in the previous Test. But yes, he will need to convert his starts into big scores.”
Since registering a century and a fifty in the Wankhede Test against New Zealand in December last year, Agarwal has crossed the half-century mark just once. He looked good in the Mohali Test before being dismissed for 33.