3 reasons why Rohit Sharma can be successful as a Test Batsman in Australia
Rohit Sharma has become gargantuan in limited overs cricket and he's on a record-breaking mission. He makes batting look ridiculously easy due to his amazing hand and eye coordination, timing and bat speed.
Rohit has now mastered the art of constructing an innings and building massive partnerships. He takes his time at the start assessing the nature of the pitch, respecting a good spell after which he consolidates the position by building momentum through strike rotation and occasional boundaries before going ballistic towards the end overs.
He might not have the brute power of a Gayle or the audacity of an AB De Villers, but he makes six hitting look beautiful. However, Rohit has not done justice to his talent in the longest format. He started on a good note scoring 177 and 111 from his first two Tests, but it soon fell apart when India started touring overseas.
He struggled against raw pace in South Africa in 2013 and found it difficult to handle the moving ball in England during the 2014 tour. He was given another opportunity in Australia in 2014, but he failed to make an impression. All he could manage was a half-century in Sydney.
Inconsistency in Test cricket made him an irregular member of the side, but team management would select on the basis of his potential. Ian Chappel once mentioned that Rohit could be a good fit at number 3, which would make him come out of Virat Kohli's shadow and play his natural game.
Sunil Gavaskar sighted Rohit never found the right tempo in Test cricket. But there is always a feeling that he will come good, which led to him getting selected in the Test squad to Australia in 2018. This has attracted a fair share of criticism as Karun Nair did not get many opportunities and was omitted from the squad in favour of Rohit Sharma.
Whether this decision will be a successful one or a catastrophe, only time will tell. But there are a few parameters which will help him to succeed in Australia if he gets selected in the playing eleven.
#1 Backfoot play
Bred on Indian pitches, it is quite obvious Rohit Sharma has a good front foot game. It must be noted that he played all his cricket on pitches which were made out of red soil in Mumbai, which usually produces a wicket with true bounce and good carry.
This develops the back foot game which has been evident in some of the greats Mumbai has produced. Gavaskar, Tendulkar and Rahane have all been successful in Australia as they could play the back of the length deliveries with utmost ease.
Rohit Sharma is very good at playing the square cut, the pull and the hook. This will help him to succeed against the back of the length delivery and also in handling the bumper which the Aussies famously call as "Chin Music".
Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins usually hit the pitch hard to extract the bounce and bowl a lot of short stuff at over 150 clicks. They terrorized England last year in the Ashes by peppering the batsmen with short deliveries.
Rohit possesses a good record in Australia in the ODI's and T20's and his ability to play the short stuff will keep him in good stead against the rising ball.