Rohit Sharma being pushed down to number three against New Zealand was an indication that the Indian team management did not trust the star opener to effectively counter the inswing of Trent Boult, feels former captain Sunil Gavaskar.
Rohit can be counted among the greats in white-ball cricket and is in line to lead India in the shortest format after Virat Kohli steps down at the end of the ongoing T20 World Cup. He was pushed to number three to accommodate Ishan Kishan at the top of the order on Sunday night.
At the start of the innings, Rohit is a tad vulnerable to the incoming ball as it was seen in the Pakistan clash. The move failed and so the entire Indian batting line up as the side laboured to 110 for seven in 20 overs. New Zealand chased down the target in 14.3 overs to hand another crushing loss.
“Ishan Kishan is a hit-or-miss player and it is better if a batsman like him walks in No.4 or No.5. He could then play according to the situation of the game. Now what has happened is that Rohit Sharma has been told that we don’t trust you to face the left-arm fast bowling of Trent Boult,” Gavaskar told ‘India Today’.
“If you do that to a player who has been playing at a position for so many years, he himself will think that maybe he doesn’t have the ability. If Ishan Kishan had made 70-odd runs we would have applauded. But when the ploy doesn’t work, you are going to be criticised,” he added.
Kishan, who had been picked in the squad as a reserve opener, came to open alongside K L Rahul. Skipper Kohli moved down a spot and batted at four.
Gavaskar did not agree with the changes in the batting order.
“I don’t know if it is a fear of failure but I know that whatever changes they made to the batting order today did not work.
“Rohit Sharma is such a great batsman and he has been sent in at No.3. Kohli himself, who has made so many runs at No.3 demotes himself to No.4. A young player like Ishan Kishan has been given the responsibility of opening the batting,” said Gavaskar.
With back to back losses, pre-tournament favourites India stare at an early exit from the tournament.