Mumbai, Sep 12: As selectors sat to choose India's Test squad against New Zealand, starting from September 22, all eyes were on Rohit Sharma's inclusion in the squad.
Given his unimpressive performance on the West Indies tour and poor show in the first innings of the ongoing Duleep Trophy final at Greater Noida, Rohit's form was a major talking point during the final meeting of the selection committee.
"We have stuck to the combination which has done very well. We were of the opinion that this was the best possible combination for New Zealand," chief selector Sandeep Patil told reporters after chairing the final meeting of the current selection committee.
This perhaps went into favour of Rohit Sharma who was under sharp scrutiny after he failed to live up to the expectations. (NZ announce Test squad)
The Mumbai dasher mustered only 9 and 41 from two innings in the third Test at Gros Islet, the only time he got a chance to play in the series. He also threw his wicket away in the Duleep Trophy match, after being specifically included in one of the teams -- India Blue -- following his return from the West Indies and the USA.
Experts and fans were wondering whether the right-handed Mumbai batsman will get another chance or be overlooked by selectors. But as expected, the aggressive batsman, who enjoys skipper Virat Kohli's support, was retained despite his indifferent form. ('Pujara very important for us')
Virat, during the West Indies tour, had already cleared his intentions about Rohit when he said that the team needs an agressive player like Rohit.
Justifying his selection Patil said, "Everyone, from selectors, coaches and the captain, felt that Rohit is a fabulous player and he needed a longer run."
One just hopes that Rohit Sharma, who is still struggling to earn a spot in the Tests, performes better against Kiwis and cements his position in the Indian middle-order.
Senior opener Gautam Gambhir was notably ignored by the selectors despite four back-to-back half centuries in the ongoing Duleep Trophy. Instead, the committee persisted with Shikhar Dhawan, whose place in the side has been questioned along with Rohit.