Consistency will elevate Mayank, Rohit as first-choice openers, says Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly is impressed with the performances put in by India's latest set of opening batsmen but isn't keen to rush to any conclusion yet.

Rohit (176) and Mayank (215) slammed big centuries in the opening Test against South Africa.   -  AP

While Mayank Agarwal is staking his claim to be India's first-choice Test opener with impressive performances in his few appearances, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly is keen to play the waiting game with the Karnataka batsman.

Agarwal, who made his India debut against Australia in December last year, struggled a bit in the West Indies but he converted his maiden Test hundred into a brilliant double ton (215) to put India in command against South Africa in the ongoing first Test in Visakhapatnam.

READ | Mayank Agarwal won't be denied, not in nets, not in Tests

“The problem is we come to conclusions very quickly. With one hundred we will say he’s your first choice opener and so on. But with a couple of failures you would say otherwise. This has to stop,” Ganguly told PTI.

“Any young player who is doing well is a very good sign for Indian cricket. He played well in Australia. He struggled a bit in the West Indies. But in the first Test at home, he’s got a double against South Africa. Let him play for a year or so then will judge how good he is.”

K.L. Rahul’s drop in form and an ankle injury to Prithvi Shaw had opened the doors for the 28-year-old Agarwal in the Melbourne Test. He had scored two half-centuries in two matches in India’s historic Test win in Australia earlier this year.

The ongoing first Test also brought an end to India’s misery at the top of the order with skipper Virat Kohli promoting Rohit Sharma as an opener for the first time in his five-day format career.

Replacing Rahul at the opening slot, Rohit headlined the first day of the match, smashing 176 as he and Agarwal batted 82 overs to pile up a massive 317-run partnership and help India declared at 502 for 7.

During his captaincy days, Ganguly had pulled off a masterstroke, giving Virender Sehwag a new lease of life by promoting him to open in Tests. Without getting into comparison, Ganguly said Rohit’s form at the top of the order would bolster India’s batting.

“It’s the same thing for Rohit Sharma -- he has to perform consistently (like Mayank). It’s just the first Test match for him as an opener. He (Rohit) is a fantastic player and hopefully he continues to play well because Rohit Sharma in form will strengthen Indian batting,” he said.

Ganguly also echoed Kohli’s view that Wriddhiman Saha is the best wicketkeeper in the world and said the Indian skipper has to take a call on whether he prefers the Bengal glovesman or the struggling Rishabh Pant.

“He (Saha) is our own boy... He is the best wicketkeeper in the world. Rishabh has also been very successful. Now, it’s a call Kohli has to take, whom he wants to play in the long term,” said the former skipper.

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