Home > Features >

ICC World T20 2014: India need Rohit Sharma to find his mojo back

Indian-batsman-Rohit-Sharma-celebrates-after-scoring-a-half-century(-50-runs)-during-the-sixth-match-of-the-Asia-Cup-one-day-cricket-tournament-b
Rohit Sharma scored a fine 62 against the West Indies in ICC World T20 2014 © Getty Images

By Taus Rizvi

Mar 27, 2014

Rohit Sharma‘s batting is like a puzzle that cannot be solved easily. He is a batsman who possesses much talent and class and often criticised for being inconsistent and throwing away his wicket.

Whenever the talk of him being relegated is raised or he faces the pressure of being dropped from the side, the stylish batsman comes up with a gem of a knock that only makes his critics to eat their own words. Like the other day against the West Indies.

On Sunday, Sharma batted beautifully to stay unbeaten on 62 and guide India to a seven-wicket win over Darren Sammy‘s men. He convincingly played off-spinner Sunil Narine, leg-spinner Samuel Badree and the new West Indies sensation Krishmar Santokie during his 55-ball knock that was studded with five fours and two sixes.

Only a few games earlier was he questioned for being inconsistent and the critics started building pressure by calling for the head of the 26-year-old to bring in Ajinkya Rahane, who has been warming the bench for some time now. However, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has showed faith in the opener, persisted with him and the result is there for everyone to see.

Sharma, who started off as a middle-order batsman, seems to be enjoying his role as an opener. Going through the stats, one can only say that he has been more consistent when opening the innings than batting in the middle.

The opening slot suits him perfect as he who takes his time to settle before unleashing himself on the opposition.

Read this: Of the 123 ODIs Sharma has played in, he has opened in 38 innings. Out of his 3,427 ODI runs, 1,460 have come in this position at an average of 42.94 while his overall runs per innings is 35.69.

In T20s too, he has an impressive record as an opener. From 31 T20 international innings, the Mumbaikar has opened in eight, garnering 225 runs at an average of 37.50. His corresponding T20I career figures are 625 and 31.25.

Apart from those impressive stats as an opener, Sharma is also an asset for the team whenever he performs, contributing to the victory.

The batsman has been a part of 68 ODI wins for India and has managed 2,158 runs in those games with three of his four hundreds being match-winning knocks. More than 50 per cent of his fifty-plus knocks have come in winning causes.

It is the same in T20s as well. Sharma has been a part of 22 wins and has 448 runs (625 overall) with five half-centuries coming when India have been victorious.

Lalchand Rajput believed that Sharma knows his responsibility now, but should be careful in shot selection. “There is no problem in technique. He has ample time and plays late. However, the only problem is consistency. Yes, he has to curb that. And to do that, he has to cut down on his shot selections. When you are in form, you become overconfident. But that should not be the case. He knows his responsibility and should be careful about shot selections and take the responsibility of taking the team through,” said Rajput, who was the coach-cum-manager when India won the inaugural ICC World T20 seven years ago.

“Sharma has to take one ball at a time, then only can he become consistent. He is definitely doing a great job as an opener,” added Rajput.

The former Test opener felt that if India has to win, Rohit will have to play a crucial role. “He is very crucial in World Cup. Look at the way he played the other day against West Indies. He looked mature and took on the responsibility. If India needs to win, Rohit has to be in form,” he said.

Legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev, too, has said that the Mumbai batsman has to wear his thinking cap on. “Rohit needs a better head, he is talented and he excites me,” Kapil said recently in Kuala Lumpur.

Dhoni admitted that it (62* vs West Indies) was a crucial knock for Sharma. “It was important for Rohit to bat through. We all know the kind of batsman he is on a pitch like this. He will take plenty from this game,” he said after India’s seven-wicket win.

Rohit in numbers

As an opener in ODIS

 

I R 100s 50s Ave HS
ODIs 38 1,460 2 10 42.94 209
T20Is 8 225 0 2 37.5 62*

 In winning causes for India

 

M R 100s 50s Ave HS
ODIs 68 2,158 3 13 45.91 209
T20Is 22 448 0 5 56 62*

ICC World T20 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

ICC World T20 2014 Schedule details

(Taus Rizvi is a Principal Correspondent with DNA. A club-level cricketer, he believes cricket helps in knowing a person’s character. Taus can be followed on @rizvitaus on Twitter. The above news has been republished with permission from DNA, were it first appeared)

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

Photos

Heroes of India's Test wins in England

Videos

Rahul Dravid reflects on India's historic win at Lord's

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma MS Dhoni South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

Live Cricket Score: Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test, Day 2 at Colombo

Peter Chingoka steps down as Zimbabwe Cricket chief; Wilson Manase takes over

Michael Clarke: No regrets for homework-gate; was best decision for Australian cricket

Shoaib Malik, Tino Best fined for altercation in CPL 2014

What’s plaguing Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan?

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

399 million users access Facebook every month only on their mobile phones, mobile ads account for 62 percent of overall ad revenues

James Taylor to lead England Lions in triangular series

Kick movie review: Salman Khan’s film delivers more than your expectation

What’s plaguing Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan?

Revealed: Akshay Kumar is a part of Salman Khan’s Kick!

Mobile services market in India to be $19.2 billion in 2014: Gartner

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here