Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin said that Indian batsman Rohit Sharma might struggle in the English conditions during ICC Champions Trophy that is scheduled to begin from June 1 if the right-hander straight away opens the innings for his side. Rohit has been batting in the middle order for his team Mumbai Indians in the ongoing IPL 2017.
“When you’re an opener, you should play at the top. I always feel that the best players should play the first 50 or 20 overs. If they are getting to play after eight or 10 overs in T20 or after 30 overs in the 50-over format, it’s of no use. Rohit is a good player and I was very surprised that he was batting between No. 3 to No. 5. What was he doing?” Azharuddin was quoted as saying by DNA.
“I’ll advise him to get used to the opening spot. It won’t be easy to open straightaway because the conditions are different (in the UK). He’s coming back after an injury. All this will play on his mind,” Azhar added.
Azhar also suggested that a score around 275-280 in the English conditions would be a good one to defend.
“If the openers give a good start, we can reach 275-280. In English conditions, with the ball moving and overcast skies, that’s a good score. In England (performance of openers) matters a lot because if you expose your No. 3 or No. 4 or No. 5 batsmen early, you might not do well,” Azhar added.
India will begin their ICC Champions Trophy campaign against Pakistan in Edgbaston on June 4 while will take on Sri Lanka and South Africa in other group matches. The Men in Blue will go in the tournament as the defending champions.