Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul were India's stars in the 2021 leg of the Test series vs England. The opening duo gave great starts to their team and were one of the main reasons why India is currently leading the five-match series 2-1.
But in the wake of Rahul's injury, and Sharma testing positive for COVID, Zaheer Khan, in conversation with Cricbuzz, has expressed his concern over the key players missing this time around.
"We are all worried about Rohit's availability for the final Test. Apart from captaining the side, he was also expected to play a major role as a batter. He made significant contributions in the first four matches of the series in 2021"
He mentioned how Rahul and Rohit provided a solid platform for the middle order last time by giving their side good starts.
"KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma were the top performers with the bat against England last year. They were able to give the middle-order a good platform to build on by giving the side good starts. KL Rahul has also been ruled out of the tour and India will miss him."
Khan further talked about the possibility of Bumrah leading the team in Rohit's absence and how that brings a different sense of responsibility in an individual. He also termed Bumrah to be the player to watch out for in the final test vs England at Edgbaston.
"If Rohit is not there, Bumrah could be the one to captain the side for the very first time. I am sure Bumrah must have been thinking about the possibility of captaining the team ever since Rohit tested positive. Leading the Indian team brings out a different kind of alertness and responsibility, which only works well for the player. For me, he is the player to watch out for"
The fifth and final test at Edgbaston will start on July 1.
India’s squad fifth Test vs England: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Srikar Bharat (wk)
India's squad for ODIs and T20Is vs England: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.