India will play a three-match Test series against Sri Lanka starting from 12 August at Galle. However, Team India needs to sort out who is going to bat at the crucial number three position before the first Test begins.
A number of names have been suggested for this all-important spot in the batting line-up, but cricket experts feel that Rohit Sharma would be the ideal man for the position.
Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane are also among the contenders for the position. If Sharma is pushed up the order, then Pujara might have to sit out of the first Test. This could also happen due to Kohli's five-bowler strategy.
In that case, Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan are likely to open the batting, followed by Sharma, Kohli, Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha.
"I don't think it should be very difficult for Rohit to bat at No. 3. He is confident of his abilities. The only thing is that shuffling here and there has not helped him in the past. He should grab this opportunity. It's good that Virat feels Rohit should bat at that important position. At the end of the day, any batsman who gets a chance has to prove himself, and hopefully, Rohit will be able to do that in the Test series," former India wicketkeeper Kiran More was quoted as saying by the Times of India on Tuesday.
Rohit Sharma has played 11 Tests so far batting at different positions. His opening spot in the ODIs looks fixed as he is consistent in that format, but in the Tests he needs to be amongst the runs in order to seal his position at number three.
"It's not a new situation for Rohit. He has batted at the top of the order in about 50 ODIs. So, he has certainly faced the new ball for extended periods. It should not be a problem for him to adjust at No. 3. In fact, he will be eager to make the most of this opportunity," Mumbai coach Pravin Amre told the Times of India on Tuesday.
Skipper Kohli expected that Sharma would don the role of Virender Sehwag and play an aggressive cricket. But it will not be that easy as one might think as both these cricketers approach the game differently.
"I don't think Rohit will be expected to play Sehwag's role. After all, Sehwag was an opener. I feel India is looking to replicate the Aussie approach that's based on aggression. Their batsmen are constantly looking to score through boundaries. Rohit, I feel, is capable of scoring like that.
"Every individual has his own way of tackling situations. Each one has to survive at whatever position he is batting at. Rohit has got the experience, and I am sure he will come out with flying colours," Amre said.
The competition in the batting line-up between Sharma, Pujara and Rahul has been termed as healthy for India. More said that it is a good thing for India as all of them are class cricketers.
"The fact that you are being forced to choose between Pujara and Rohit is a good thing for Indian cricket. Both of them are top quality players. Then you also have KL Rahul waiting in the wings for the opener's slot. The competition will only benefit India," More said.