After waiting for more than a year to play a Test, Rohit Sharma finally got his chance today (November 24) as he was included in India's Playing XI for the second Test against Sri Lanka at Nagpur's Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium.
Rohit is a successful batsman in the limited-overs format but he has not managed to replicate the same in the five-day version. However, India captain Virat Kohli, on Friday, felt it was time to bring back the Mumbai right-hander. And he gave reasons for his inclusion.
The 30-year-old Rohit played last of his 21 Tests in October 2016, against New Zealand in Indore.
India made three changes to their side. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan had opted out of the Test due to personal reasons while Mohammed Shami had to miss out due to a niggle. Murali Vijay, Rohit and Ishant Sharma were the replacements.
After losing the toss, Kohli spoke on the team changes and said Rohit had been waiting for a long time and they had to give him game time.
"Shami has got a bit of niggle in his left hip, so Ishant comes in place of him. Rohit comes in place of Bhuvi. We wanted to give him some game time. He has been around in the Test team for a while and he has not got many chances. And third one, Vijay obviously replaces Shikhar at the top," Kohli said at the toss.
It is common for Rohit to trend on Twitter and it was the same today. His and Ishant's names were trending on the micro-blogging website. There were fans who rejoiced at the return of the right-handed batsman while some questioned his selection.
India have gone in with four bowlers for this Test as they played an extra batsman in Rohit. R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are the spinners while Ishant and local boy Umesh Yadav will take up fast bowling duties.
The third and final Test starts at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on December 2. After the Tests, India and Sri Lanka face off in three ODIs and three T20Is.