Former cricketer Zaheer Khan has stated that Rohit Sharma’s availability for the rescheduled fifth England Test will be key for India. He pointed out that everyone wants the star batter to recover from COVID-19 in time for the crucial tie.
Speaking on Cricbuzz, he mentioned that Sharma was exceptional with the bat in the first four fixtures of the series against England last year. The former pacer highlighted that the side will miss the right-hander’s captaincy and batting abilities if he is ruled out of the contest.
Zaheer Khan said:
“Everyone is worried about Rohit Sharma’s availability for the fifth Test. Apart from captaining the side, he was also expected to play a major role as a batter. He made significant contributions in the first four fixtures of this series.”
Khan further noted that India will also be without KL Rahul, who along with Rohit Sharma gave the team positive starts at the top of the order last year.
Rahul was set to be the vice-captain for the one-off Test. However, he is going to miss out on the tour due to a groin injury.
“KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma were the top performers with the bat against England last year. They were able to give the middle-order a good platform to build on by giving the side good starts. KL Rahul has also been ruled out of the tour and India will miss him.”
Jasprit Bumrah likely to lead India in England Test if Rohit Sharma is not cleared to play
Sharma hasn’t traveled with the rest of the Indian squad to Birmingham. The 35-year-old is currently in isolation in Leicester after having tested positive for COVID-19 on multiple occasions.
According to recent reports, senior pacer Jasprit Bumrah is the frontrunner to lead the side for the Birmingham Test in Sharma’s absence.
Sharma is set to undergo another test on Thursday (June 30).
It would be a major blow for the visitors if the star batter fails to be fit for the Test as he was the side’s leading run-scorer in the first four fixtures of the series. The opener mustered 368 runs at a fantastic average of 52.57 in those games.
India currently have a 2-1 lead in the five-match Test series against England. The two cricketing giants will lock horns in the final fixture of the red-ball rubber from July 1 at Edgbaston in Birmingham.