Last Updated: February 06, 2024, 16:06 IST
Rohit Sharma got clean bowled by James Anderson (AP Photo)
Harbhajan belives that Rohit Sharm and Shreyas Iyer will be able to come out of the lean patch in the next match in Rajkot
Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh feels Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer will return to form in the upcoming third Test against England, beginning on February 15 in Rajkot. Both batters have failed to produce anything significant in the previous two games of the five-match series. While Rohit has managed only 90 runs across four innings, Iyer has scored 140. According to Harbhajan, the duo will be able to come out of the lean patch in the next match as the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium is known for offering a batting-friendly surface.
In a recent video on his YouTube channel, Harbhajan spoke about the importance of Rohit and Iyer in the current Indian team as they might miss the services of Virat Kohli at the top of the order in the remaining Tests of the England series.
“Hopefully, Rohit Sharma will score runs. He hasn’t scored runs. Rajkot is a batting paradise in India. So, I hope that there won’t be amendments to the pitch. I hope Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer score because Virat Kohli may or may not play,” the cricketer-turned-pundit explained.
Harbhajan further showed his faith in the existing squad as he reckons India is capable of winning matches even in the absence of Kohli. He said, “If Virat was available or not, we would have still won. Hopefully, he might return.”
Meanwhile, Harbhajan seems to have left impressed with Yashasvi Jaiswal playing a key role in India’s 106-run victory in the recently concluded second Test in Vizag. The young opener notched a brilliant double-century in the first innings, helping India post 396 runs on the board. Harbhajan also appreciated Shubman Gill, who finally got a Test century under his belt after 11 innings.
“There are a lot of positives. Yashasvi Jaiswal has scored a double-century. Very important for a youngster. When you score runs, you gain confidence. Shubman Gill has also come back to form. He also scored a century,” the 43-year-old said.
Harbhajan further discussed Rajat Patidar’s chance to feature in the third Test against England. The youngster made his Test debut in the last game, beating Sarfaraz Khan in the race. Patidar, however, could not make the most out of the opportunity, scoring 32 and 9 runs in the respective innings. Despite the failure, Harbhajan feels the selectors will prefer Patidar over Sarfaraz in the next match.
He said, “I think Patidar will get one more chance. I don’t think Sarfaraz will play the next match as well. This is a young team and the combo looks set. Sarfaraz will have to wait for a game.”Sarfaraz was called up for the England series alongside Washington Sundar and Saurabh Kumar after KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja were ruled out after the opening match due to injury issues.