What happens to Rohit Sharma in Test Cricket
Rohit Sharma is perhaps the curious case of Indian cricket and for Indian fans they just can’t decide whether to love him or loathe him. On one day he can make you go wow with his talent and on another day you could very well be pulling out your hair seeing him getting dismissed to a ball that he has the ability to deposit into the stands. The case becomes further complexed when he just about bullies bowlers into submission when playing in colored clothing and is all at sea when the same bowlers appears with a red cherry in hand during the Tests.
There is no doubt that he is perhaps one of the most talented batsmen of the current generation and I am using the word talent with much confidence here. You have the likes of Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, Steven Smith and Joe Root, but Rohit is not counted among them because he does not have anything substantial to show in the longer version of the game.
ODI and T20 Stalwart
He captains Mumbai Indians in the IPL and has led them to the title twice now. He has also led them to the Champions League title in 2013. He is the only person on the planet to make two double hundreds in ODIs. To Rohit’s credit, and the people who have faith in him, he was a bit scratchy when he started in the ODIs initially. MS Dhoni, during whose captaincy Rohit started his career has gone on record saying that the results that Rohit is showing now in the shorter formats of the game is because of the long rope he was given. According to him the same should be done with him in the longer format.
The current batting coach Sanjay Bangar has also come out in support of Rohit. He said that if you look at it, Rohit has not been given a consistent run in the Test team. He has played a couple here and there. It is also due to the five bowler theory that captain Kohli is so fond of. As a result of fielding five bowlers, the position of Rohit in the batting line up becomes unsure and he is the one who has to sit out.
Who owns the Number 3 positon in Tests
He is not an opener and apart from that position if India plays five bowlers there are only three spots left for the batsmen. On current form and past records, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli fit into number 4 and number 5 position without any questions. Then there is the crucial number 3 spot for which he has to face stiff competition from Cheteshwar Pujara. He was given that number 3 spot more than once, but in Australia, as well as in Sri Lanka, Rohit failed to make the spot his own. Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara carried his bat in the crucial 3rd Test match in Sri Lanka to show that he is ready for whatever it takes to make it to the current Indian batting line up.
Case against Rohit
There is also the argument against Rohit that he does not put a price on his wicket in the longer form of the game. He gets out too cheaply and in a manner which displays certain laziness in his approach. When asked in an interview regarding this he said he tries to play his natural game and that is the way he has churned out all his runs at all levels. But Rohit might have to understand that the longer form of the game tests you in every manner, and sometimes you have to go against your natural game and play according to the match situation.
His Test returns are pretty mediocre at this stage but he is one of the top players in ODI cricket and a force to reckon with. Whatever it is in Tests, but one thing is sure, that he has the talent to make it big in the five day format. But there have been cases in the past where players like Michael Bevan, Ian Harvey, Jonty Rhodes, Ajay Jadeja and many more who were an integral part of their country’s ODI side never featured consistently in the Test team.
Time to start performing in Tests
What Rohit Sharma needs to understand is that the most patient and most supportive captains will give up on him someday and he needs to make it count in the five day format, sooner than later. He has the talent, but does he have the grit and the determination to be a top notch player in the Tests? We are eager and waiting to see what lies ahead.