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Opinion: Rohit Sharma and the art of batting

Shankar Anand
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Rohit Sharma. -- The Hitman of the team
Rohit Sharma. -- The Hitman of the team

Mention the name, 'Rohit Sharma', and the first description that comes to our is 'lazy elegance'. He is very similar in batting style to VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly, makes batting look so easy. The languid style with which he caresses the ball brings in maximum results from the minimum input is bound to bring back old memories.

He notched up his 21st ODI hundred, a magnificent 162 against the Windies in the 4th ODI yesterday. It was pure artistry at work with his batting and once he got his eye in, it is total carnage. The ease at which he is able to find the gaps and the energy reserves he is able to maintain has seen him make 7 scores of 150+ in ODI's inclusive of 3 double hundreds, the highest being 264. To make 264 in a one day game, irrespective of the opposition, conditions or targets, definitely needs some special ability.

He has an advantage of opening the batting which ensures that he can face the maximum number of balls possible and he has understood the ability to pace a one-day innings perfectly. Adding to this, when you have Virat Kohli at the other end, who has been Bradman-esque in ODI's, no wonder India are able to post such mammoth totals or chase them down with relative ease.

If we analyse Rohit's pattern of batting in all his big scores -- the double hundreds and the 150's, there is a template. He takes it slow during the first 25 overs, gets his eye in, reaches 50. Invariably gets to a 100 between the 35th to 40th over and then tees off in the final 10 overs. He is able to score close to a hundred or more of his own in the slog overs since he is well set by the 40th over.

His scoring arc keeps expanding as the innings progress and like AB de Villiers, he is able to score all around the park, full 360 degrees, in the final 10 overs. He has hit a staggering 175 sixes since Jan 2013, overtaken the little master Sachin in the overall tally, with the last knock and now with a total of 198 sixes, sits second only MS Dhoni who has 218.

He is already a legend of his own in ODI cricket. All factors considering up to one point till 2012, when his place in the side was questioned, this is a tremendous achievement. The next target for him would be to cement a place for himself in the Test side, anywhere in the top 6 and if it happens Indian cricket would be well served.