Rohit Sharma    Getty Images
Rohit Sharma Getty Images

Rohit Sharma eases the ball over the boundary line. There seems to be an element of power, but he relies sheerly on timing the ball. The head remains still, and he executes a stroke as if it was premeditated. In other words he makes batting look easy.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Rohit revealed that his stroke-making involves 80 per cent timing and 20 per cent power. “There is a certain element of power into it but not completely. It is like 80 per cent timing and 20 per cent power. Why do I need power hitting when I can clear the ropes with timing? The sixes I hit have crossed a decent distance; I don t need to clear the stadium, just clear the rope. I try and get into the line of the ball and time it. That is my strength and I will stick to it.”

Rohit takes him time to settle in ODIs, and as he does, he goes on to compile Daddy hundreds. There is a reason he is the only player to score three double-hundreds in ODIs. When asked if he would carry the same approach in Tests, he said, ” I would love to do that in Test cricket as well. My strength is to try and dominate and take the game away from the opposition. Wherever I bat, I have to understand the conditions, respect the bowlers and see how I can be destructive. South Africa is not the easiest place to bat; the first 20-25 minutes can be challenging, but once you get your eye in, try and play your game.”

The tracks in South Africa will produce more bounce and lateral movement. The deliveries that the batsmen play on the front-foot will have to played by laying back a bit. Rohit explains his approach. “You have to keep telling yourself the shots you play in India, you cannot outside. That has to start with practice; certain shots that you play, on the rise, cut or pull on pitches with extra bounce in South Africa you have to keep telling yourself, no, I cannot play the pull shot from that length or cannot drive on the up . You need to understand the pace of the pitch, there are a lot of things like that.”

India have not won a Test series in South Africa. They had won the first Test in 2006-07 series but lost the remaining two. In 2010-11, they managed to draw the series. This time, however, they have a team that can put up a fight. There are many who believe that India will bag their maiden Test series win in this unconquered territory. Rohit believes that they can take 20 wickets. “It is the best pace attack we have. We believe we can take 20 wickets. These 5-6 bowlers have played together for a number of years now, and are one of the reasons why we are No. 1.”