Rohit Sharma was dismissed by Vernon Philander for a two-ball duck during South Africa's game against Board President's XI. (Image credit: Twitter)
Rohit Sharma has been included in the India Test squad for the upcoming three Tests against South Africa. With KL Rahul being excluded, it was felt that Rohit would open the batting. The importance of Rohit could be judged by the fact that he was chosen captain for the Board President's XI against South Africa in Vizianagaram. However, Rohit had a tough day as he came out to open with Mayank Agarwal. The skipper was caught by substitute Heinrich Klassen off the bowling of Vernon Philander to fall for a two-ball duck.
The match itself has been marred by rain, with no play taking place on day 1 at Vizianagaram. On day 2, Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma were the stars for South Africa. Markram smashed a 100 and Bavuma, who was in good form in the Twenty20 Internationals, smashed 87 off 127 balls to help South Africa reach 287/6 declared. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja was the star with three wickets while Umesh Yadav, who replaced Jasprit Bumrah in the Test team, took the wicket of Dean Elgar while Ishan Porel got rid of Theunis de Bruyn.
India are on the search for a solid opening pair after KL Rahul was dropped for the South Africa Test series after a poor run of form. In an interview to India Today earlier in the month, Prasad had revealed the selectors were looking at Rohit as a Test opener after Rahul's struggles.
"As selection committee we haven't met after the conclusion of the West Indies tour. We will definitely take this (Rohit as opener) point into consideration when we all meet and discuss about it. KL (Rahul) is definitely a great talent. Of course, he is going through a bit tough time in Test cricket. We are definitely concerned about his form. He needs to spend more time on the wicket and regain his touch and form," Prasad said.
Rohit averages a touch under 40 in Tests and he has predominantly batted at No.5 or No.6 in the longer format. However, when Rohit was promoted to open the batting in ODIs and T20Is, his form and career improved and since then, he has been indispensable in the limited-overs formats. However, one would be hoping that the dismissal in Vizianagaram is a one-off and that he performs well in the Tests which begin in Vizag on October 2.