As India and South Africa get ready to lock horns in the second T20I of the three-match series, Men in Blue batting coach Vikram Rathore lauded opener Rohit Sharma and said there is no reason why the batsman cannot succeed in Test cricket.
“I think he is too good a player to not be playing in any team. Everybody in the side echoes this opinion. He is a wonderful opening batsman in the limited-overs format, so there is no reason why he cannot be successful in Test matches. If he gets his gameplan right, he can be a great asset to the team,” Rathore told reporters.
Rathore was recently appointed as the new batting coach of the team and he succeeded Sanjay Bangar in the role. The new coach said that the interaction with the team has been good, and he will adjust to working in the setup.
“The interaction with the team has been good. I have been in this profession for a long time, I have interacted with almost all the players. Nothing too tough, it will take me some time to adjust in the setup of team India but I will manage.
The batting coach also said that the team is lucky to have so many all-rounders in the squad. He even praised Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer, however, he asked the duo to keep working on their consistency.
“Everyone needs to take their opportunities. Everyone has played a good number of matches. The entire team is backing them and I am sure we continue to back them up, they will produce good results,” Rathore said.
“We are fortunate to have so many all-rounders in the T20 format. Manish and Shreyas are two fine cricketers. Manish has done well in the past and Shreyas had a successful tour to West Indies. They just need to be consistent,” he added.
Rishabh Pant who has been often criticised for playing reckless shots, got the backing of the new batting coach but Rathore said that the players in the side need to understand the difference between fearless cricket and careless cricket.
“All young cricketers need to understand the difference between fearless cricket and careless cricket. The team wants everyone to play without fear. We want Rishabh to play all his shots as it makes him special. But you do not want any batsman to be careless and reckless,” Rathore said.
The first match between India and South Africa was abandoned due to rain.
India’s squad for three T20Is includes Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, and Navdeep Saini.
India takes on Proteas in the second match tomorrow at Mohali.