The World Test Championship (WTC) final is going to be a big challenge for the Indian team. With conditions not suitable for them, facing a strong bowling unit of New Zealand, who are coming from a Test series win against England, isn't going to be easy.
Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes it will be a tough task for India openers, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, in the WTC final at Southampton. "I will definitely back Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, but they will have a lot of difficulties because of the bowling in front of them; one gets the ball in, and the other takes it away. Both of them will try to pitch the ball up, and there the two openers have to manage," he said during a discussion on Star Sports.
"We are talking about Shubman Gill that his performance in the IPL were not that good, but that is a different format. He started off very well in the red-ball format in Australia. You don't forget that so soon, and you go according to the format."
Rohit and Gill have been batting together since the Sydney Test on the Australia tour. They have been paired up for the opening spot in six Test matches so far, including four matches at home against England.
Another ex-India cricketer, Parthiv Patel has backed Rohit to continue his good performance in Test cricket. "He (Rohit) will try to be cautious in the first one hour. The sort of approach Rohit Sharma has shown as a Test opener, he is playing very tight, and we see proactiveness in his foot movement. So I feel he has adapted very well as a Test opener," Parthiv said during the same discussion.
"Once he gets set, we know he plays brilliant shots. It might have been the white-ball format when he scored the five hundred in the 2019 World Cup, but that will be in his mind. So he will be thinking that he can play his shots once he survives the first one hour."
(With Star Sports Inputs)