New Delhi: Struggling batsman Rohit Sharma on Thursday got the backing of former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar for his capabilities but the ex-cricketer said the youngster needed to transform his potential into runs to cement his place in the national team.
"There is no doubt Rohit has tremendous potential but he has to score runs. He has to transform his potential into performance which is not happening," said Vengsarkar, who is known to be a stern supporter of the 25-year-old Mumbai right-hander.
"He is a fine player and there is no question about his abilities but he has failed for too long," added the former chief selector.
Despite repeated opportunities, Rohit has not been able to cement his place in Indian team and hit a new low in the just-concluded tour of Sri Lanka where he managed a dismal 13 runs from five ODIs, the least by a recognised Indian batsman in a series of five matches or more.
On the contrary, Tiwary, who just got two games in the series, justified his selection by scoring a half-century in the fifth ODI and also bagged four wickets.
"Tiwary has done extremely well and I think he should get more opportunities," Vengsarkar said during the unveiling of a survey report -- "TenVicks Report: Measuring India's Cheer Quotient" here.
Vengsarkar refused to be drawn into a debate on whether VVS Laxman should be picked tomorrow by the selection committee at Mumbai for the upcoming home Test series against New Zealand while maintaining that age should not be held against the Hyderabad batsman.
"I am not a selector now, but what I have heard he has scored a 100 recently in some domestic game. I believe in form and fitness. I am not bothered how old a player is," he added.
The 38-year-old Laxman's fitness and running between the wickets have come under the scanner time and again. He also failed to put up an impressive display with the bat in the in the last eight Tests, scoring just 337 runs in 16 innings.