Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma performed poorly in both the innings of the first Test match.Reuters

The Indian cricket team is facing a tricky conundrum: who should bat at the all-important No.3 position?

After the shocking collapse of the Indian batting lineup in the second innings of the second Test against Sri Lanka, the question has occupied centre-stage.

The situation has been further compounded by in-form batsman and opener Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out for the rest of the series due to his hariline fracture.

The spotlight, needless to say, is on Rohit Sharma.

Sharma has not been at his best and one would concede that he will still take some more time to settle down in the No. 3 position.

The cricketing fraternity is aware that Sharma is one of the best batsmen in the Indian lineup at the moment and if he starts timing the ball from the middle of his willow, bowlers won't have a place to hide.

But given his lacklustre performance at the No. 3 position, questions are being asked as to whether Team India should persist with Sharma or opt for a specialist No.3 batsman such as Virat Kohli or Cheteshwar Pujara?

To be honest, Sharma's Test scores after the last Test against Australia in Sydney earlier this year - 53, 39, 6, 9 and 4 - do not inspire confidence. Such an inconsistent performance would obviously worry any captain, more so after suffering a humiliating defeat.

But Sharma wants people not to look at his insipid past and instead look at the future.

"...I am hoping that you will ask me some positive questions. I don't want to look at the past because the future is very promising. I have hardly played 10-11 Tests and they have not been in a stretch. And in those matches too, my spot in the batting line-up hasn't been fixed," Sharma told reporters ahead of the second Test match against Sri Lanka to be played in Colombo.

If Sharma continues to play at No.3 and plays well, that will take a lot of pressure off the new Test captain Virat Kohli, giving him the much-needed leeway to focus on the game than his batting.

Fans will have to wait and see what Sharma has in store for them in the second Test match.

Sharma has been adequately backed by critics and experts as well, but that does not mean a player of his calibre should take his own sweet time to settle down in an important Test series away from home where India have not won a Test series since 1993.  

Will Sharma live up to the expectations?

Also read