India head coach Ravi Shastri has backed Rohit Sharma as an opener in Tests and feels he will be a match-winner. Rohit has been India’s most consistent limited-overs opener, but he has not been successful for India as a middle-order batsman in red-ball cricket. With the South Africa Tests coming up, Rohit Sharma in all likelihood will be promoted as an opener, a role he will be taking for the first time in the longest format of the game.

Shastri believes the Mumbai batsman can have a great impact in Tests as well. “It is all combined. But I told Rohit, way back in 2015-16, to start opening for Mumbai,” Shastri told Hindustan Times. “Always felt he had the X factor. It is always difficult, not easy for a No.5 or 6 to do it. But it is just a mind thing. If he gets over it, he is going to be a match-winner there as well, and we are going to give him time. We are not going to push him.”

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“This is India-centric, and for the first time, you have the World Test Championship,” he said. “As far as I am concerned, in the last 40 years, that’s the biggest World Cup. It’s home, away. You play to your strength as India, so everyone who is doing their job as a groundsman, he should think India and do the job.”

Speaking of the World Championships, Ravi spoke about workload management as well. “We got to plan, it’s home, away,” he said. “We got to rest players, we got to see which guy is good for certain conditions, you got to be on the ball all the time, which guy is having niggles or needs treatment. It’s a tough process. We live life in the present. After the event, you get a lot of pens and mike, we love that.”

Earlier in the year, Rohit slammed record five centuries during the World Cup.