So, as expected, India won the T20 series against England. Even though England were able to come back and level the series after the first two games, Rohit Sharma’s fantastic innings made sure that they were never competing in the third game. Their strike bowlers like Rashid and Plunkett looked toothless against the Indian opener. And now, he has continued his destructive form by scoring another century against England in the first ODI at Trent Bridge. So what is it that makes Rohit Sharma so lethal. Let’s have a look at three reasons why Rohit is currently India’s biggest trump card:
1) Grabbing The Initiative
Rohit has a clear strategy in mind. In the first powerplay, he takes the attack to the opposition. For example, yesterday India managed over 70 runs in the first 10 overs. This puts the onus back on the opposition to try new things. It also helps in building a base for India to target a big score. So, this initial hitting serves a dual purpose. Also, his partnership with Shikhar Dhawan is now possibly the most dangerous opening pair in world cricket right now. Bowling attacks know that if they err in line and length, these two will race away at the start, leaving very less room for a comeback. Rohit’s supreme timing of the ball plays the most vital role in this early stage of the innings. That is India’s biggest trump card, even though they can also boast of Virat Kohli.
2) Responsible Rohit
Rohit Sharma has always been a flair player. He has been unafraid to play his shots and this has often led to his untimely downfall. But in recent matches he has shown that he can mix sense with style. He has continued to play his shots, but the risk taking now seems to be much more calculated. He is not trying to hit every ball for a boundary which is a refreshing change. Rohit has also improved his concentration levels as we have seen in the last T20 and the first ODI. He no longer throws his wicket away after reaching 50s.
3) Hitman Of All Trades
The most striking change has been his ability to perform under different conditions. Up until very recently, he was labelled as a player who could only smash the ball around on flat pitches. But on this tour he has proved that he can work wonders in all sorts of conditions and against different attacks as well. England have been a very strong ODI side since the 2015 World Cup. Infact, they are even ranked number one by the ICC. But the ease with which he managed to toy with the English attack was commendable. He did not face any issues in negotiating the early movement of the ball as well. All this bodes well for India on this tour, while the alarm bells must be ringing for England.
To sum up, Rohit Sharma has improved his consistency levels vastly and now he is among the most feared openers. As recently as last year, he was not that consistent and the experts were not sure about his performances overseas. But he has proved that it is too early to write him off as an inconsistent opener and he has the potential to perform on the biggest of stages – there are few bigger stages than a Tour of England. And he has taken his chance well thus far. The Indian fans will certainly hope to see much more from the Hitman in the upcoming matches!