Ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) final, Sachin Tendulkar threw light on Rohit Sharma's game plan as an opener against the Duke ball. The cricket legend expects his fellow Mumbaikar to start cautiously before pressing on the accelerator.
It has hardly been a year-and-a-half since Rohit opened regularly in Test cricket. He hasn't played a Test in England in seven years and has no experience as an opener against the Duke ball.
Opening in England is tough, but Tendulkar believes that Rohit will curb his naturally aggressive instincts when he steps out to bat against the quality New Zealand seamers.
"Rohit is smart that way and understands when to press the accelerator. He is not someone who is going to go from ball one. He is going to kind of understand the conditions, how the pitch is playing and who is bowling well and then I won't be surprised if he targets someone who is not getting his rhythm on that day.
"But, upfront to do that, I don't think that would be Rohit's game plan. It would be just to play out the first few overs and see what is happening. Once you have assessed that, then you know who to target," Tendulkar told ANI.
Tendulkar, the only cricketer to play 200 Tests, scored the first of his 100 international tons as a 17-year-old while touring England in 1990. He is one of the few batters who has championed conditions worldwide and averages over 40 in every country he has played.
Australian tour of 2020-21 was the icing on the cake: Sachin Tendulkar
Expressing his "thrill" at India's performance at the inaugural WTC, Sachin Tendulkar called the Australian tour of 2020-21 the "icing on the cake."
"I am thrilled. This is the World Test Championship, and to be able to get there in the top two, speaks volumes about how the team has performed. It is simply outstanding, and the icing on the cake has to be the Australian trip. There were so many injuries; like 10-11 players were missing on that tour, and despite that, we were able to deliver the knockout punch, which was incredible," Tendulkar added.
India's chances of making the WTC final looked bleak after the side was bowled out for 36 in Adelaide and faced a big defeat. The departure of their captain Virat Kohli and an injury to Mohammed Shami compounded the problems.
As the tour progressed, India kept losing more players to injuries. By the time the side reached the Gabba for the decider, only Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were two players to have played all four Tests. Defying all odds, India became the first team to beat Australia in Brisbane in over 32 overs to bag the series 2-1.