Selectors happy to give Sharma a run


The Chairman of the India’s selection committee Sandeep Patil has expressed his confidence in the abilities of middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma.

Patil feels that Sharma is a fantastically talented player who has not yet been afforded an extended run in the India Test team.

The selector explained the decision to name what is in effect an unchanged squad from the West Indies tour with Shardul Thakur and Stuart Binny dropping out as the squad was trimmed from 17 for the tour to 15 for the home series.

Patil said: “I have repeatedly said in the past four years than all players who play under the BCCI banner they qualify for selection for the Indian team. The team did well in West Indies and it’s not we haven’t discussed the other names.

“But we have stuck to the combination that has done very well. So me and my colleagues along with head coach Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli felt that this was the best possible combination against New Zealand.”

The 29-year-old Sharma averages just 32.62 in Test cricket and has been criticized for his lack of patience in the game’s longest format but Patil is confident he will come good.

Patil added: “Rohit is a fabulous player, immense talent he has got. But he hasn’t got a longer run in Tests. What we have seen is that he has been picked for one Test and then rested and then again picked.

“So everybody feels that whoever gets picked will be given a fair amount of chances.”

The squad contains seven frontline batsmen, with five likely to play if India persist with allrounder Ravichandran Ashwin at six in the order.

One of those competing with Sharma for a place in the starting XI will be Cheteshwar Pujara who recently struck an unbeaten 256 in the Duleep Trophy final, while KL Rahul has also been in excellent form across different formats, scoring a hundred against the West Indies in the first T20I in the United States.

The Indian lineup has a settled look about it but many see Sharma and opener Shikhar Dhawan as weak links in the India batting chain.