GOOD that cricket coach Ravi Shastri has dismissed speculation that there was rift between Captain Virat Kohli and his limited overs deputy Rohit Sharma as mere occasional disagreements. Ravi Shastri has thus tried to shoot down such kite flying on non-existent disputes among members of the Indian team. Shastri has pointed out Rohit Sharma’s outstanding performance in the World Cup and that of Virat Kohli and their contribution to the team’s cause over the last five years. Shastri is right when he says that in a squad of 15 members there can 15 suggestions from each of them and they have to be brought to the table for improving the performance of the team.
This does not denote that members of the team are in total disagreement all the time. If that were so the team would not have been in a position in which it has stationed itself in international cricket. That Rohit Sharma is being considered for an opener’s role in Test cricket as well in the light of the indifferent form of K. L. Rahul, shows how positive thinking goes on in the planning of the think-tank in the Indian cricket team. This flexibility has allowed the team management to test newer and newer options to give stability to the team and improve performance at every outing. The last time Rohit Sharma had played Test cricket was when he had toured Australia in 2018 as a Test team member.
The manner in which Rohit Sharma builds up his innings in the shorter versions of the game could be useful for Test matches as well and if he clicks in that position he would certainly be a great asset as an opener. With Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari showing great return to form in the recent West Indies tour in the middle order, Rohit Sharma would give a big boost at the top. With top class bowling unit in place, the Indian think-tank would be looking to impart solidity to the batting line-up which occasionally appears to be shaky.
In recent times the vulnerability of the Indian team in the middle order was exposed time and again and the team management was looking for answers though there was no dearth of talent. But many of the players had failed to come to expectations when exposed to international competition. With Rohit Sharma a solution could be found. Such constant churning of thinking would not be possible if there were cleavages within the unit. In fact series after series and tournament after tournament players have given out their best and have taken the team to the top position in world cricket. It is unanimity of purpose among the players and the whole team that has put the Indian team among the top cricket playing nations. Hence speculation of rift holds no credence.