Since the time Rohit Sharma took over as the captain of the Indian team, his job description as an opener has been to attack the bowlers early in the powerplay and set the base for the rest of the batters to propel the side to a big total.
But in the ongoing T20 World Cup, where fast bowlers have called the shots from the word go, Rohit hasn’t been able to get the big starts for India in the power-play. Though they have now qualified for the semifinals, Rohit’s form will be a cause of worry, making 89 runs in just five matches at an average of 17.
In the tournament, Rohit has been caught between being tentative and go for the big shots or attack right from the start of the innings. While the pull is now his trademark shot, it has also led to his downfall, something which legendary India batter Sunil Gavaskar pointed out.
“What’s been happening is, he himself, as the captain of the team, has set this template in the first six overs to go bang, bang, and bang. Suddenly, he can’t be seen looking to work the ball around. He is always a good puller of the ball. But on Australian boundaries, that pull shot has got him into trouble.
“We saw that two years ago as well, he got out twice by playing the pull shot after having scored 40-50 runs (in Tests). That’s got him into trouble again. In a T20 format with just one fielder in the first six overs, he has got to be mindful of the fielder and play the pull shot. It’s a productive shot for him, let’s not forget that,” said Gavaskar on India Today.
With India now all set to face England in the semifinal on Thursday for a spot in the final at the MCG on Sunday, Gavaskar hoped that Rohit will bring his best self with the bat to have a chance at ending their nine-year wait for clinching the T20 World Cup silverware.
“Well, let’s just hope he is saving the runs for the next two matches. They are going to be the biggest matches. In a group game, you know there’s another game to follow, so you maybe sometimes try a little too much and get out.