ĎAt least give me a chance to fail in Testsí
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At 25, Rohit Sharma has already appeared in 85 ODIs and 32 international T20s for India. At a time where Indian cricket stands at the cusp of a shake-up, Sharma, with 700-plus Ranji Trophy runs this season, talks about his keenness to play Test cricket, his present form and the way he tackled the batting debacle he suffered in Sri Lanka.
Have you done enough to push for a Test spot?
I'm happy with the way things have gone so far but at the same time I'm disappointed that I've repeatedly missed out on a Test berth. I've been in the reckoning and on the fringes for the last three years but somehow I'm yet to get a game in the longer format for India. I was picked for the Test series against West Indies at home and the one in Australia, but I didn't get a single opportunity. I got dropped for no reason that I can think of.
You sound hurt about the selectors constantly turning a blind-eye.
Of course I'm hurt. What bothers me is that I have been playing Ranji Trophy for the past seven years and have scored consistently throughout. I have played 85 ODIs already, and it's been six years almost since I began playing international cricket, but the Test debut has continued to elude me. I have averaged 60 plus in domestic cricket almost every year and have displayed the right temperament required for the longer format. What I'm saying is at least give me a chance to fail.
But the selectors have persisted with you when it comes to the shorter format.
You can't compare ODIs with Test cricket. Ask any player in this country and they will tell you that Tests are the ultimate thing. But I'm yet to get a feel of it. Twice I've watched a Test match from the boundary-line. Who knows how different my life could have been if only I hadn't ended up twisting my ankle in Nagpur prior to that Test match against South Africa. (Sharma hurt his ankle on the morning of the match while playing a game of rocket-ball rugby)