Sri Lanka v India, 3rd ODI, Colombo July 27, 2012

Cannot overlook Rohit's quality - Gambhir


The change of venues from windy Hambantota to humid Colombo may not change the fortunes of Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary. The team management expects much of Rohit in the 2015 World Cup and will back him "as much as possible", according to opening batsman Gautam Gambhir. Tiwary is sure to get opportunities, but whether it comes in the next game or the next series, "no one knows," Gambhir said. So basically, Rohit has the faith; Tiwary can keep the bench.

What again came out in the press conference was how highly the team management rated Rohit. Gambhir said dropping a "talented" player like Rohit - who averages 17.33 this year - would only undermine his confidence. He might not be among the runs, but Rohit was batting "the best among all of us" in the nets, and asked for more faith as he saw him "scoring a lot of runs for India in the future." Where is he going wrong at present, though? "Nowhere."

"He's done pretty well," Gambhir said. "Not on this tour, not in Australia, but he's got two Man-of-the-Series awards, in West Indies and in India. If you keep chopping and changing players like him who are so talented, you are only going to play with his confidence. He was unfortunate in the last game. You can drag the ball on [to the stumps]. It can happen to the best of players. But you have to see the bigger picture. If he is in your scheme of things for the next World Cup, obviously you have to go with him and try and give him as much confidence as possible."

Gambhir said it was a matter of time before Rohit got the runs. "Whether a person is in form or out of it, the important thing is how he is feeling about his batting. You cannot be batting well, but you can still be getting runs. If you are very comfortable with your batting, if you know that you are batting well, somewhere down the line you will score runs. We still need to show some faith in him because he is a quality player."

Getting dropped after a lean run may damage Rohit's confidence, but Tiwary's will sink lower when he makes a match-winning century, and is then left out for 13 straight games, and maybe more. All Gambhir said was that Tiwary should look to grab every chance he got.

"It is not about individuals and I don't want to talk about individuals, about how Manoj is feeling," Gambhir said. "How the team is doing is all that matters. Somewhere down the line, he will get an opportunity. If he is not getting the opportunity and the team management [believes the] playing XI they pick is the best XI to do the job on that particular day, the team management does that because ultimately it is not about individuals. It is about what results you want and what combination you want to go with.

"Whenever Manoj gets that opportunity, he should be looking forward to it and he should do well in that opportunity. Whether he gets it in the next game, whether he gets it in the next series, no one knows."

The third ODI on Saturday may make the fate of both the batsmen clearer.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    Cant understand why a player of gambhir's stature is saying like this??...rohit sharma has been a complete wastage in Indian Middle ordr...i m wshng yuvi's return asap...sharma might be talented but his stats says something else...1966 runs in 83 mtchs wth avg. of 31 after being active in Intl crcket fr past 5 yrs...cant say abt future but in present scenario i dont see sharma even in 15 member squad,...

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2012, 0:10 GMT

    If he is the best at nets keep him there in the interest of the bowlers. If he played well in ipl that s the place for him. Gambier has just opined that way and the team selection committee need not heed.World cup is far away.Rahane or Tiwari deserve a break and Rohit the bench.Think of India Today.There is a limit for pampering.

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    @IndianRulesEverybody...See even Rohit Sharma goes out for Ducks but this time GOLDEN Duck especially in a 50 over game :)

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    Not an Indian fan but very weird a player like Tiwary isn't given an oppurtunity, he's a good team player.

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    Hussain Alvi, India has Won the game and Yes, whether we have Rohit Playing or orhterwise, India will Win!!

  • Shanmuga on July 28, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    I hope, Dhoni & the team management don't over-react & drop Rohit for the next match! I saw a very languid movement of the highest quality in the only ball he faced though he was out in the process, which is a minor detail in the bigger picture! There is no point in playing selfishing without contributing to the development of the game! Actually, video of that ball can be used to teach kids how not to miss a straight ball when your team is in dire straits! If they have to really change a winning team, I request them to replace Raina for playing many ugly heaves and bringing down the quality of this great game! Thanks in advance!

  • anirban on July 28, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    If it was jet lagged Tiwary up against a Brett Lee yorker getting out for 2, he would be benched in the next game...but It's Rohit from Mumbai hailed by Warne and Tendulkar as the next best batsman for India..who can bench him while Rahane and Tiwary (even after scoring a ton) carry drinks

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    Thanks ROHITH for the duck. well done Malinga for the 2 Wickets in 2 Balls. India we need ROHITH for the rest of the series. please give him some more chances.atleast for next 2 matches.

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    All the tallent in the world Sharma has to score another duck!!!

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    From my Perspective most of the fellas feels he is talented batsmen but talent needs to be delivered some day at some point of time ... We are wasting our bunch of in-form players (Bringing drinks & Rubbing benches) as it is not good for Indian cricket.

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