Mumbai: Former Test batsman Wasim Jaffer expressed his disappointment at the way India openers performed in the last few overseas tours but said the team should stick to the same combination of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.
"The kind of start Shikhar and Rohit provided before the start of South Africa series, I don't think people would have even thought about (having different openers for different formats). But I am sure, the conditions were different," Jaffer said when asked whether India should have different openers for different formats.
"I am disappointed the way they have performed but I feel they should be given more opportunities, because in three or four innings, nobody becomes a good player or a bad player. We should stick to the players who are talented," the 35-year-old former India opener said.
Jaffer was speaking to reporters at the announcement of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board Inter-Unit tournament, hosted by Indian Oil. In the ODI series in New Zealand which ended on Friday, Sharma scored 145 runs in five matches, while his partner Dhawan managed only 81 in four matches.
Jaffer said that the Indian team could have tried Ajinkya Rahane as another opener. "Rohit has got a double hundred, a few ODIs back and also a 79 in the previous game, so it is unfair (to ask someone to replace him as an opener). Ajinkya has opened all his life so probably that is an area they could have looked at, but (captain Mahendra Singh) Dhoni is far intelligent than me, so he must be thinking," he said.
After a good performance in South Africa, Rahane failed with the bat in the New Zealand ODI series with just 51 runs from five matches and Jaffer said the 25-year-old would have been disappointed. "He got an opportunity to perform, he has had the overs to bat. It is not that he is coming in the last 10-15 overs.
So, I am sure he must be disappointed," said Jaffer. The veteran Mumbai batsman said that Cheteshwar Pujara should also be considered for the ODI squad and would fare well at the number three or four slot.
Jaffer also termed the sacking of the state Ranji Trophy coach Sulakshan Kulkarni as harsh and said Mumbai Cricket Association should have waited till the end of the season to replace him.
"Obviously, it looks bad because out of all the teams that have played in Mumbai, out of all the age groups, Ranji Trophy is the only team that had gone into the knock out stages and the coach of that team has been sacked. So, it is not a nice thing. Probably they should have waited for one-dayers and T20s to finish and then probably taken a decision then," Jaffer told reporters at an Indian Oil event.
"To expect the same kind of performances from the younger players is going to be hard, because we had a lot different team last year and the batting also. Specially to take out the anger and the disappointment on the coach is slightly harsh," Jaffer, who captained the team in a couple of games, added.
Kulkarni was sacked after the 40-time champions' early exit from this season's Ranji Trophy tournament, despite being given a bonus of Rs 28 lakh for the team's triumph last year.