India will clash with New Zealand in the final of the World Test Championship in Southampton from the 18th of June and former spinner Harbhajan Singh has emphasized the need for a solid platform laid by the Indian openers in the mega final. Harbhajan added that while he was confident that Rohit Sharma will come good given his white-ball exploits in England, India would also need their other opener, Shubman Gill, who has not been in the best of form lately, to fire in the contest.
Rohit Sharma was in devastating form in the 2019 World Cup in England and also scored a magnificent series-changing Test hundred against England in the home series in 2021. Gill was in ominous form in his debut series in Australia in 2020-2021 but since then has seen his form take a downturn across formats. He had as many as 4 failures in 7 innings in the home series against England earlier this year and Harbhajan felt that for India to do well in the WTC final and the five-Test series against England, the stylish right-hander had to come good.
“A good first innings score of 375 to 400 will set up the match nicely for Indian pace attack. But for that Gill needs to bat well. Rohit has had enormous white-ball success in England during World Cup and he is an experienced hand," said Harbhajan.
Harbhajan added that India needed a solid start by their openers and it was their job to see off the new ball to protect the likes of Kohli and Pujara from coming out early in the innings.
“You don’t want a situation where Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara are every time walking in at 15 for 2. You should also give a start which allows them to build and consolidate."
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill gave India some fine starts Down Under in 2020-2021 which gave the top-middle order the platform to build the innings and put the Australians under pressure.
Rohit has been one of India’s best batsmen in the inaugural edition of the WTC and has the third-highest average in the tournament after Marnus Labuschagne and Babar Azam.