New Delhi: In about 2 weeks from now, Virat Kohli and Co. begin their ICC Champions Trophy journey by taking on Pakistan on June 4, but as far as former skipper Mohammad Azharuddin is concerned, the Men in Blue have issues to address in the opening spot.
Rohit Sharma, who is likely to open the innings for India alongside Ajinkya Rahane or Shikhar Dhawan, hasn't opened for his Indian Premier League team Mumbai Indians in IPL 2017, which according to Azharuddin is a big issue for Team India.
“When you are an opening batsman, you should open. I always feel that the best players should play the first 20 overs. If your best batsmen are playing after 8-10 overs in T20s and after 30 overs in a 50-overs game, there’s no use. Rohit Sharma is a good player, and I was very surprised to see him bat at No. 3 or 4 or 5 (for MI),” Azharuddin was quoted as saying
India do have a couple of warm-up games scheduled before the tournament and that certainly will help Rohit Sharma adapt to the new pitch condition and playing position, while skipper Virat Kohli and caoch Anil Kumble will also be able to decide on their playing composition.
“He has to get used to the spot quickly. It’s going to be tough for him to straightaway go and open because the conditions are different and he is coming back from an injury. All these things will play on his mind,” Azhar added.
As far as India's chances of defending the title are concerned, the ex-captain said that he will be disappointed if the Men in Blue return empty handed.
“Azharuddin also spoke about India’s chances in the tournament. “I will be very disappointed if they don’t win the tournament. They’ve got the ammunition. We’ve got the best batting, the best fast bowlers, and we’ve also got the best spinners,” he said.