Ahead of the two-match Test series between India and West Indies, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has expressed faith in batsman Rohit Sharma, asking the Indian team management to include him into the final playing XI.
"I know Rohit has been given chances to play in the Test format earlier and he has not been able to grab on to the opportunity. But I believe he should be included in the team. He is a big match-winner, and not including him will be wrong. He is in good form and he should be given a chance right away," Akhtar said in a video posted on his official Youtube channel.
"When you have selected him in the squad, leaving him out of the playing XI should not be an option. I believe he will showcase his talent in the longest format of the game, he will become a great player in the Test format as well," he added.
The Indian team was knocked out of the ICC Men`s Cricket World Cup after losing the semi-final match against New Zealand. But the team seems to have recovered well, as the Men in Blue defeated West Indies in the recently concluded T20I and ODI series.
India defeated West Indies 3-0 in T20Is whereas they outclassed them 2-0 in the three-match ODI series.
"The team has recovered well after the World Cup setback, and I believe they will perform well against West Indies in the Test series," Akhtar said.
India takes on West Indies in the first Test match at Antigua later today. The series will be part of the World Test Championship.