When you do a search for Rohit Sharma on ESPN cricinfo, as many as six options crop up. Not just that, there are two RG Sharmas as well. The one we’re looking for though is born in 1987. Soon to be 30 years old this year. When did that happen?
Rohit made his Test debut in November, 2013, since then he has plated 21 Tests. By now it is well documented that he started off with a century on Test debut, followed by another in his second innings. There hasn’t been another since.
KL Rahul has already played 12 Tests. He too got off the blocks fast, with a century in only his second Test. So far he has four centuries. While Rohit’s Test average is 37, Rahul’s is a shade over 40. Much like his senior, Rahul comes with much promise and potential. Much like Rohit, Rahul’s batsmanship is very pleasing to the eye. And daresay, much like Roht, Rahul could be India’s next big thing – in ODIs and T20s.
The similarities don’t stop there. Already in his short career, Rahul has shown that he can be very susceptible to injuries. Both batsmen have a huge fanboy in the Indian captain.
Both batsmen have the ability to go up, over the top, out of the ground. They’re the type of batsmen that fill grounds with people, with a buzz. They’re also the type of batsmen, that very rarely make exceptional Test batsmen but always make the selectors punt on them – forever making their backers live in that eternally optimistic state of “what if?”
Come 2017, both batsmen will be expected to make the IPL great again.
It’s very early to say that KL Rahul will not make an exceptional Test batsman but as an opener he has 8 single digit scores in 19 innings. Rohit has 14 single digit scores in 36 innings. Their Test dismissals often appear soft, and can leave you more often than not baffled. Just as their sixes that resemble shooting stars.
While a still recuperating Rohit will not play the Bangladesh Test, KL Rahul will open the innings. Whether opening is the best position for him is debatable. Squeezing him in the middle order is next to impossible. While India has sometimes sacrificed a fifth bowler and either dropped or made Cheteshwar Pujara open the batting to accommodate Rohit Sharma, it remains to what extent India will go with KL Rahul.
Right now however, he is the chosen one of Indian cricket. And will continue to be so for a while. It’s an onus that doesn’t sit easy on the best of batsmen. KL Rahul will do well to speak with Rohit, who knows, it could be a chat that ends up helping both batsmen. After all, it takes one to know one.
First day, first over, after leaving two balls outside off, KL Rahul opts for the cover drive, plays on and is dismissed for his 9th single digit score.