There is no denying the fact that Rohit Sharma is in the last phase of his international career. The India captain turned 36 a couple of months ago. With his fitness issues well-documented, it remains unclear how long he can extend his career, especially in Test cricket with the demands of the modern game increasing in terms of physical and mental fitness.
Rohit got a second wind in his Test career as an opener in 2019 and he’s grabbed his chances very well in the longest format of the game.
Since his comeback to the Test side in 2019, Rohit is the third-leading run-scorer for India; his average of 51 well ahead of the two others who have scored more than him – Pujara averages 32 and Kohli 36 since 2019. He has got the Test captaincy at the age of 35 last year.
And while he’s going strong as a Test batsman currently, India need to prepare the next generation.
Here are 2 uncapped openers who can be Rohit Sharma’s successor as India’s next Test opener:
Young left-handed batsman Yashasvi Jaiswal‘s name is ringing loud and clear in the minds of fans, and possibly selectors’ as well courtesy of his stunning IPL 2023 season: he finished as the 5th highest run-scorer with 625 runs at an average of 48 and strike rate of 163 with 1 century and 5 fifties.
But there is more to Jaiswal’s game than his IPL success; the left-hander has also a majestic first-class record. The 21-year-old has ransacked 1845 runs at a terrific average of 80 and strike rate of 67 in 15 first-class matches
Jaiswal has cracked 9 centuries and 2 fifties in his red-ball domestic career, highlighting his penchant for converting 50s into big scores. He has a best of 265 in first-class cricket. Apart from his thunderous form in Ranji Trophy, Jaiswal has slammed centuries in Duleep and Irani Trophy matches as well.
Ruturaj Gaikwad was selected as a reserve backup initially in India’s WTC Final contingent, but he pulled out because of his wedding duties. But, his selection indicates that Gaikwad is close to a Test cap and might make his debut if one of Rohit Sharma or Shubman Gill is injured or unavailable in the coming Test series.
One of the most stylish, elegant batters in Indian cricket, Gaikwad has had immense success already in the IPL in his career. And he has brilliant red-ball domestic numbers too: in 28 FC matches, he averages 42 with 6 centuries and 9 fifties.