Home > Features >

Rohit Sharma: The flashes of brilliance have to give way to match-winning innings of substance

Rohit Sharma: The flashes of brilliance have to give way to match-winning innings of substance

Rohit Sharma has to put a very high price on his wicket if his cameos have to give way to match-winning innings of substance © AFP

By Sarang Bhalerao

An article about Rohit Sharma almost unfailingly has mentions of his precocious talent and the inexplicable yo-yo swings of his cricketing career. For someone who is so incredibly and unquestionably blessed with a divine sense of timing, his track record is truly bewildering. Rohit has a rare gift of spotting the ball a fraction of a second earlier than most other batsmen. As a young apprentice, his temperament was considered solid.

Everyone who saw him bat touted him to be the next big thing. Some even hailed him as the next Sachin Tendulkar  — never an easy burden to carry. Nevertheless young Rohit blossomed at the international level. Being a Mumbaikar, the khadoos attitude was intrinsic in his DNA. The beginning was a fairytale. India won their first ever One-Day international (ODI) series in Australia in 2008 and Rohit scored a polished 66 in the final at Sydney.

The interesting facet about Rohit’s batting is his ability to play every shot in the book. Over a period of six years, he has scripted dazzling run-a-ball knocks. He has been a finisher in the past, and now emerged as India’s answer for an opener. Rohit has chosen to bide his time and construct an innings. He has chosen wisely. There is a contrast in his batting though: He respects good balls and hits the bad balls  without any trouble. Yet, sometimes, there is a sudden rush of blood out which truncates a promising compendiums. It’s like a promising novel ending prematurely as a short story.

For a writer, he is one of the most difficult batsmen to write on. A resplendent drive might elicit poetic paragraphs, but then an ugly swipe will make the writer tear his hair apart in frustration.

Against the West Indies on Sunday, he built a carefully-crafted  edifice — a laboured 60 off 88 deliveries —before attempting an impetuous big hit off Darren Sammy. India were well-placed at 124 for three in the 31st over and there was no need for a big hit at that stage. There was a batting powerplay at India’s disposal. What if the well-set Rohit would have batted till the 50th over? It certainly would have made a difference in the final analysis as India lost the match by the narrowest of margin — by one-wicket.

In the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, barring the final, Rohit gift-wrapped his wicket to the opposition. A half-hearted pull against South Africa, a cheeky leg-glance against the West Indies, a feeble flick against Pakistan and a mindless slog against the Sri Lanka — each dismissal ending a promising enterprising knock.

There is no excuse for Rohit; there can be none. He has to put a very high price on his wicket if the cameos have to give way to match-winning innings of substance.

The immediate goal should be to carry on batting till at least the 40th over after getting the start. His CV will look a lot better with more hundreds rather than the dazzling half-centuries.

The inner demons have to be conquered. It is high time Rohit vindicates his talent and wins matches for India.

(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter here)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

Akshar Patel picked far too early for Test cricket

Live Cricket Score Ranji Trophy 2014-15, Round 3, Day 2 — All matches: Yuvraj Singh scores 2nd century in his 2nd Ranji game this season

Shahid Afridi, please do not take the innocence away from cricket

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Is Jason Holder a captain or a stooge?

Can Eoin Morgan change England’s limited-overs fortunes?

Australia India Interviews Moments in history Ricky Ponting

Shahid Afridi among players issued with show cause notice for shooting commercial without permission

Akshar Patel: Very happy to be selected for the next two Test matches

Ranji Trophy 2014-15, Round 3, Kerala vs Hyderabad: Kerala trail by 91 runs

Ranji Trophy 2014-15 Round 3, Tamil Nadu vs Madhya Pradesh: TN finish at 112/4 at stumps on Day 2

Ranji Trophy 2014-15, Round 3, Saurashtra vs Gujarat: Smit Patel’s ton gives Gujarat a 41-run lead

Akshar Patel picked far too early for Test cricket

ICC World Cup 2015: Will India’s trend of performing against expectations continue?

Moin Khan: Pakistan must carry momentum in ICC World Cup 2015

West Indies tour of South Africa 2014-15: One-sided encounters may suck interest out of series

India tour of Australia 2014-15: Can Australia make it 12 wins in a row at home?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

683 Posts | 6 Fans

Mitchell Johnson's 37 wickets against England in Ashes 2013-14

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here