3 Indian players who would be better off playing white ball cricket alone
2. Rohit Sharma
Matches – 25 Innings – 43 Runs -1479 Highest – 177 Average – 40 Hundred - 3
Shikhar Dhawan’s opening partner in one day cricket, Rohit Sharma is an interesting subject for case study to analyse how a batsman as talented as him has failed to succeed in Test cricket.
Like Dhawan, Rohit Sharma’s Test career started on a high when he scored 177 runs on his debut against the West Indies in his favourite ground, the Eden Gardens. Rohit went on to score an unbeaten 111 in the next Test on his home ground at Wankhede Stadium. That was Tendulkar’s farewell Test.
With loads of talent behind him and to suit the occasion, Rohit Sharma was projected as the perfect replacement for Sachin Tendulkar’s No 4 position in Test cricket. But his problems started cropping up when India started playing abroad.
His inept batting technique to seaming balls and his tendency to hit the ball on the rise and playing away from the body had disastrous results on overseas conditions. His dislike for short pitch stuff made him a stationary target in Test cricket.
In the 16 overseas Test matches that Rohit has played, he has scored just 710 runs at an average of 25 with 4 fifties. Virat Kohli reposed tremendous confidence in Rohit when he dropped the consistent overseas performer Ajinkya Rahane to accommodate Rohit in the series against South Africa in South Africa early this year. But Rohit Sharma could score just 78 runs at an average 19. He was dropped after the second Test and was not selected thereafter.
Unlike in one-day matches, India have a quality middle-order in Test matches with the likes of Chateshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. Karur Nair and Hanuma Vihari are waiting in the wings.
Besides, with the batting abilities of Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and R. Ashwin, India might not go with an extra middle-order batsman in future. All these factors might work against Rohit Sharma’s return to Test cricket.
There is no better batsman than Rohit Sharma in white ball cricket. He is the only batsman in the world to score 3 double hundreds in one-day matches. This unique record of Rohit is hard to surpass and will remain for a long time. Rohit’s six hitting abilities are unparalleled and once set, he is capable of playing long innings as evidenced in his 3 double hundreds.
Both Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are proven match winners in white ball cricket. In Test cricket, both Dhawan and Rohit have similar problems with similar solutions. They can take it easy as far as Test matches are concerned and concentrate more on white ball cricket where their strength lies.