Salman Butt
After a substandard bowling performance in Mohali, experts and fans raised their concerns over the team's quality going into the World Cup.

Rohit Sharma had failed miserably after his bright start in Test cricket. However, out of nowhere, the right-handed batsman was asked to open in Test matches and his fortunes changed from there on. The then chief selector MSK Prasad has revealed why the team management decided to open the innings with the limited-overs vice-captain.

According to him, Rohit’s five tons in the 2019 World Cup played a big role in convincing everyone of Rohit’s potential as an opener in Whites.

“The Rohit Sharma journey was different. In the last 3-4 his performances in white-ball cricket was legendary, no two ways about it. When someone gets five centuries in England in a ODI World Cup, you have to stand up and notice. So how did his inclusion happen?

“We played Prithvi Shaw, he started brilliant but then his fitness dipped, his form dipped and for whatever reason he was out of the side. Mayank was there but there was a concern over the second opener and with Prithvi’s inconsistencies, we wanted to go with someone reliable and someone experienced,” he said while speaking to Cricbuzz Plus.

He further added that a lengthy discussion with Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri also opened doors for Rohit.

“If someone is getting five centuries in England, of course it is a white ball but he has tightened his technique. After the World Cup, we sat down with Virat and Ravi in England to discuss how we could bring him in to the side. Unfortunately, Priyank Panchal and AR Easwaran had a little tough season.

“Considering all this we thought we needed one solid guy with experience. Given his performance in white-ball cricket, we thought why can’t we try him. We debated a lot,” the 46-year-old further stated.

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