WTC: The Boult & Rohit contest treat to watch: Sehwag

12:03 AM Jun 13, 2021 | PTI

New Delhi: Opener Rohit Sharma countering Trent Boult's incoming deliveries will make for a fascinating contest, something that Virender Sehwag will be looking forward to during the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand, starting in Southampton on June 18.

Sehwag, who redefined the art of opening batting in Test cricket, feels that Rohit's qualities and recent form at the top of the order certainly makes him a candidate to succeed during the six Test matches in England this summer.


"No doubt Trent Boult-Tim Southee combination will pose a lot of challenge for Indians. They can move the ball both ways and are brilliant while bowling in partnerships also," said Sehwag.


"Boult vs Rohit Sharma will be a contest that I would be looking forward to. If Rohit gets set and see off Boult's opening spell, it will be a treat to watch," feels one of India's greatest match winners in the longer format.

While this would be Rohit's first shot at opening in English conditions, the experience of playing Tests in 2014 will certainly help him.

"Rohit is a fantastic batsman and he has played Test cricket in England earlier also (2014) so I think he can manage well as we have seen in recent times when he has opened the batting. I have no doubt that he will score runs in England this time.

"Obviously, as it is for any opener, he would have to be careful for the first 10 overs and see off that new ball to understand the conditions first. I am sure he will get a chance to show his range of strokes," said the man, who has scored more than 8000 Test runs.

If there is one player apart from Rohit, who can be as maverick as Sehwag was during his glory days, it is Rishabh Pant, who is going through a purple patch in his international career.

Sehwag wants Pant to bat the way he knows and not get bogged down by too much analysis and dissection about technique and temperament needed to be successful in England.

"Rishabh Pant knows his batting better than anybody else and he should focus on what he can do best for the team rather than get worried about what ex-cricketers, commentators and media is saying," Sehwag said about the keeper, who has already scored a hundred in English conditions during the tour of 2018.

"The focus for Rishabh should be one one ball at a time. If the ball is there to be hit, he should hit it. I don't think he needs to change approach as he has got success with the same approach and Test matches are different ball game.

"Of late, he has understood his role in the team and he is a very critical player for India in Test matches coming in at No 6. If he gets set and starts scoring runs, he can change the game in a session and we have all seen that." Once and for all, Sehwag also wants to put at rest the debate around Cheteshwar Pujara's "strike-rate" and "intent".

Sehwag also believes that rather than going in with four pacers, India should go with two spinners in their five-man bowling line-up as it would also strengthen their lower middle-order batting.

"Two spinners will be good for India because both Ashwin and Jadeja are capable all-rounders.

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