Ajay Jadeja has picked the opening pair of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma as the biggest gain for Team India from the Test series against England.
Sharma and Rahul, with 368 and 315 runs respectively, were the principal contributors for the visitors with the bat. The duo gave India a promising start more often than not.
While reviewing the series on Sony Sports, Ajay Jadeja picked the stylish opening combination as the biggest positive for the Virat Kohli-led side. He said:
“If you ask me, the opening pair of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma is the biggest gain for Team India from the series. Rohit Sharma has played a different role.”
The former Indian skipper added that it was by fate that KL Rahul got an opportunity to open alongside Rohit Sharma. Jadeja elaborated:
“If Shubman Gill had not got injured, KL Rahul would not have been in the team. If Mayank Agarwal was not injured, he would not have started. And then he got the chance, he showed what he can do.”
Shubman Gill was ruled out of the England series due to shin splints. Mayank Agarwal had to sit out the first Test against England due to a concussion he suffered during practice.
“The contribution of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma cannot be forgotten” – Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag added that the KL Rahul-Rohit Sharma pair shielded the vulnerable Indian middle order from the new ball. He explained:
“The contribution of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma cannot be forgotten. If the partnerships had not happened between KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, the middle order which was not scoring runs would have come in much earlier and India would have gotten all out even quicker.”
However, the former India opener bemoaned the fact that the middle order failed to take utmost advantage of the start given by the duo. Sehwag observed:
“They used to get India to a strong position, bat for 30-40 overs although even after that because the middle order was not in form, we were getting all out early in some matches.”
KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma added 421 runs at an average of 52.62 in the eight innings they played together on the tour. This is the second-most by an Indian opening pair in England, behind only the 453 put together by Sunil Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan in 1979.