Rohit Sharma has been Team India’s sensation ever since he opened for the side in white-ball cricket after showing great potential as a middle order batter. But the Test cricket story has been completely different for Rohit, as having made his debut back in 2013, he played just 40 matches in next 5 years.
After a marvellous ICC ODI World Cup in 2019, where Rohit scored 5 centuries, the player was picked to open for India in Test series against South Africa. Rohit impressed on his debut Test match as an opener, scoring 176 runs with a strike rate of 72.13.
Rohit missed the Test series against New Zealand in 2020 due to Injury but was called up for the Border-Gavasker Trophy post recovery earlier this year. The opener played his first Test away from home as opener but looked very comfortable at the crease showing early signs of success in the longer format.
The final two tests in Australia and the World Test Championship Final against New Zealand in England are the only away Test matches under Rohit’s belt as an opener. Even though the right-hander has looked good and got off to starts, he is yet to convert them into big scores to shut down the criticism of ‘home-bully’.
With the upcoming challenge of England series in August, Rohit will have another chance to prove his worth in Test cricket. However, former Australian spinner Brad Hogg claimed that he would be ‘surprised’ if Rohit dominates the five-Test series in England and believes that the opener will have troubles to succeed.
"Rohit Sharma in India he averages 79 (in Tests). But when he goes away, he only averages 27. Then we go to England, it even gets worse - it's just 24. I think he is going to have a few issues against the likes of Broad and Anderson, especially opening the batting against the Duke ball. I will be very surprised if he has a big impact in this series,” Hogg said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
Rohit has looked a completely different batsman in Test cricket this year and the five-match series against England could well be his last chance to shut down the criticism. As he is already turned 34, this series could be career defining for him.
"We all know how good he (Rohit) is and this has been one of the kryptonite in his game at Test level, performing away from India. England probably for an Indian batsman, has the hardest conditions to adjust to. He has had plenty of time over there so if he is going to do it, it has got to be this time. I think this will define him as a Test cricketer," the former spinner added.
Both England and India faced New Zealand in England as their last opponents and lost the games and now will head into the first Test match between them, starting August 4 at Trent Bridge.
â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹(Inputs from SportsCafe)