Rohit ready should he be picked
Rohit Sharma has said that he is mentally ready should he be asked to make his Test debut at the SCG on Tuesday. If he is asked to play, it will be in the place of Virat Kohli, who has scored 107 runs in seven Test innings away from home. Kohli was dropped after a disappointing tour of the West Indies, and then scored two fifties against the same side when recalled for a home Test. In the first Test of this series, he scored 11 and 0.
Rohit said he has to stay mentally prepared all through the tour, even if he doesn't get a game. "Of course [I'm ready]," he said. "I don't want to be unprepared. My preparation has to be 100%. It doesn't matter if I am playing or not. Preparation has to always be the same. I have to be ready [to play] each and every time. Because you never know, somebody might get injured on the day of the Test. You have to be ready."
Rohit should know about injuries on the morning of a Test: one he suffered during the warm-ups cost him his Test debut in Nagpur, against South Africa, in early 2010. Under MS Dhoni, India have been known to given players a decent run before dropping them, if required. Keeping that in mind, smart money has to be on Kohli getting another chance.
They haven't been told either way as of now. "As far as the team combination is concerned, we have not decided anything yet," Rohit said. "Maybe tomorrow we will have a better idea as to what the wicket will be like. Probably by tomorrow I will be told whether I am playing or not."
Rohit said the morale in the team is "very good" right now. "We really had a good time off," he said. "We had a team get-together yesterday, which was nice. And we got back again today to see how we are going to take it forward. We don't want to think about what has happened. We need to focus on what we have to do now. The process is still on. Hopefully things will turn around for us.
"We spoke about what went wrong, and what we need to do, and stuff like that. Which always happens, whether you win or lose. That is nothing new for us. As I said, we need to keep doing the right things."
Rohit gave credit to the Australian bowlers for their performance at the MCG, but denied the notion that the Indian batsmen might be shaken up or intimidated. "Not shaken up," he said. "They really bowled well, we need to accept that. Our batters also batted well in the first innings, but somehow we didn't manage that in the second. Credit goes to their bowlers."
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo