Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer believes that Rohit Sharma can smash a double century in Test cricket even in overseas conditions. He reasoned that the Indian limited-overs vice-captain understands his game much better now, which allows him to plan his innings.
Wasim Jaffer shared his views on Rohit Sharma as a Test opener in a discussion with Aakash Chopra on the latter's YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra asked Jaffer if he saw Rohit Sharma succeeding as an overseas opener in Test cricket, considering that he has scored a double century in India. The former Mumbai opener replied in the affirmative while reasoning that the Hitman knows his game much better now.
"I think so. I feel he understands his game a lot more now. This is not the Rohit Sharma that we have seen before. He knows where he needs to calm down."
Wasim Jaffer cited the example of a couple of innings that Rohit Sharma had played at the 2019 World Cup, where the Indian opener had bided his time initially.
"Even in ODI cricket, if you see the World Cup, the ball was moving around in few matches and he held back. He held back for 8-10 overs against South Africa and Pakistan."
He added that once Rohit Sharma realises that the conditions have become more batting-friendly, he can take the attack to the opposition.
"Then when he understands that the conditions have become better, he has that ability to accelerate and suddenly his strike rate would go upto 120-130."
Wasim Jaffer iterated that Rohit Sharma has developed the ability to plan his innings based on the demands of the situation.
"So, I feel he is in that headspace that he understands where he needs to take a backseat and where he can attack. And he has both the games."
Wasim Jaffer on the initial tough period that Rohit Sharma might have to deal with
Wasim Jaffer claimed that Rohit Sharma can even score a double century in foreign conditions, as long as he is able to negotiate the tricky early period with the new ball.
"I feel in overseas conditions in the first 30-45 minutes he is a bit vulnerable. I think if he survives that, he has the ability to get double hundreds even there."
Rohit Sharma has played 32 Test matches for India, scoring 2141 runs at an average of 46.54. But his away Test record has left a lot to be desired, with him having scored just 816 runs in 18 matches at a below-par average of 26.32.
His Test career got a new lease of life when he took up the opener's role in the last home season. In the 5 Test matches he played in India as an opener, Rohit Sharma amassed 556 runs at a Bradmanesque average of 92.66, including a double century against South Africa.