Sunil Gavaskar has urged Rohit Sharma to back his natural game instead of attempting a bit extra in the early overs, stating he has the potential to ramp up his strike rate once he gets going. Gavaskar highlighted Sharma’s past record as an indicator of his previous approach being good enough.
Rohit Sharma’s struggle for consistency continued in the first T20I against Australia in Mohali on Tuesday after the opener fell cheaply for 11 despite starting off strong with a boundary and a maximum. The Indian skipper of late has been trying to enforce an ultra-aggressive strategy during the powerplay but once again fell victim to it after an attempted big hit off Josh Hazlewood did not quite travel the distance, ending up in Nathan Ellis’ hands. Sharma now has just 312 runs in 12 T20Is this year at a rather lowly average of 28.90 but a notably higher strike rate of 152.15 compared to previous years.
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar believes the opener has been trying this new batting approach unnecessarily, given his ability to step on the accelerator when the situation demands so.
“With Rohit Sharma, the range of shot that he has, he doesn’t really have to do what he is looking to do over here, that is step down the pitch even before the bowler has released the ball,” Gavaskar told India Today.
“The way he has been playing T20 cricket before that, his scoring and strike rate has been phenomenal. It’s been absolutely terrific. He hasn’t tried to do anything more. Over here, in the last few matches, it just seems to me that he is looking to do a little bit more and, in the process, getting out,” he added.
The Men in Blues leader is the highest run-getter in the history of T20Is, tallying 3,631 runs at a great strike rate of 140-plus. He has over 10,000 runs to his name across all T20s and has gained great success with his brand of calculated batting combined with destructive power-hitting. The 35-year-old is set to lead India in a major ICC event for the first time ever in the World T20 Down Under beginning next month.
“The white ball might move as much as the red ball. But there is just that slight movement which can be the difference between the ball hitting the middle of the bat and the ball taking the edge of the bat. So it means it could be hitting the ball into the air rather than into the stands. I do believe that Rohit needs to give himself that little more time, he has got all the shots in the book. Ev en if he gets off to a slow start, he can triple it by the time his innings is over,” Gavaskar concluded.
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