Not sure about Sarfaraz, but Rohit must bat at No 4: Dasgupta

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | February 01, 2024 IST

Rohit with Sarfaraz

New Delhi, Feb 1: Former India wicketkeeper-batter Deep Dasgupta has suggested that the senior national selectors might have hesitated to pick Sarfaraz Khan in the squad for the second Test against England due to his perceived lack of runs in big matches. Dasgupta also shared his views on India's playing XI for the second Test advocating for skipper Rohit Sharma to bat at No. 4.

With K.L. Rahul sidelined due to a right quadriceps issue, Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar find themselves in India's squad for the second Test. Both of them are in the running to fill in the vacant spot in the Playing XI.

Dasgupta delved into the selection dynamics, acknowledging Sarfaraz's consistent form but pointing out the challenges of finding a spot in a competitive lineup.

"Credit to him that he has been in good form for the last two to three years. He scored runs recently against England 'A' as well. He was performing consistently but there were two questions,” said Dasgupta on his YouTube channel.

"The biggest question was in place of whom. We say very easily that this or that player should be there but only 11 can play and the squad can have only 15 or 16. Secondly, there was also this question, and I have heard it from a few people, that where are the runs in big matches," Dasgupta added.

Dasgupta emphasised the importance of considering the quality of opposition while assessing first-class records, acknowledging that not all teams are of the same standard. He also speculated that Sarfaraz's underwhelming IPL performances might have influenced the selectors, although he cautioned against judging a player solely on T20 performance.

"When people talk about first-class cricket, with all due respect, you have 37 teams. You are also playing against some very average teams. I shouldn't be saying this, it will be disrespectful to some of the teams, but the quality of runs is also important. I am not saying this against Sarfaraz."

Regarding Sarfaraz's potential debut, Dasgupta discussed the complexities of player opportunities, drawing a comparison with Shubman Gill. He noted that players with perceived higher potential often receive more chances, highlighting the role of trust from selectors, team management, and captains in shaping a player's international career.

"At times, the selectors and team management have to be convinced about you as a player and you as a talent. For example, Shubman Gill vs Sarfaraz Khan, do you think both of them will get the same number of chances?"

"No, they won't. It is very normal or natural because you see more potential in one. So you give chances based on potential. It becomes very important that the team management, selectors and captain trust your potential, about what you can do."

Switching gears, Dasgupta shared his views on India's playing XI for the second Test. Advocating for Rohit Sharma to bat at No. 4, he proposed a four-pronged spin attack with Washington Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav in the mix. Dasgupta outlined a batting order with Shubman Gill and Yashasvi Jaiswal as openers, Rajat Patidar at No. 3, and Shreyas Iyer at No. 5.

"I want Rohit (Sharma) to bat at No. 4. It is slightly out of the box and I will go in with four spinners, which will have both Washington (Sundar) and Kuldeep (Yadav). I will play one less seamer."

"Now let me quickly go through the playing XI. If I get Shubman (Gill) and Yashasvi (Jaiswal) to open, (Rajat) Patidar plays at No. 3 because that is where he plays. Rohit plays at No. 4 and Shreyas (Iyer) at No. 5,” he concluded.

In K.L. Rahul's absence, the selection dilemma revolves around whether to include Patidar or Sarfaraz Khan. Dasgupta's suggested XI features Washington Sundar at No. 6, Jasprit Bumrah as the sole seamer and a spin-heavy bowling lineup. (IANS)

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