Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra feels Rohit Sharma’s discipline was quite similar to Sachin Tendulkar’s knock of 2004 which he played in the Sydney Test against Australia.
The Master Blaster was dismissed while trying to play the cover drive in that series and thus he decided to completely take out that shot from his armoury and showed all the patience.
Similarly, Rohit Sharma showed all the patience in his approach in the Test series against England. There were doubts over Rohit’s credentials as a Test opener in tough English conditions but he was able to answer the critics in style.
The veteran batsman showed resistance and discipline while facing the England bowlers with aplomb. Rohit scored 368 runs in four matches at an impressive average of 52.57 and proved his mettle in the tough conditions.
Rohit’s best knock of the series came in the second innings of the Oval Test when he scored a vital inning of 127 runs after England had taken a lead of 99 runs. Rohit’s magnum opus knock helped India in posting a score of 466 runs and take a 367 runs lead.
Writing in his column for ESPN Cricinfo, Chopra opined: “The first instinct against James Anderson and Ollie Robinson was to be defensive. Unless the ball was really full, he wouldn’t attempt driving it. He would trust his judgment of where the off-stump was and would leave a lot of deliveries alone. The ones coming in, once again, would be dealt with defensively.
“Sometimes you drift away from your initial plans of self-denial once the feet start moving freely and you’re more confident about the pace and bounce of the surface but Rohit’s discipline was quite similar to Sachin Tendulkar’s discipline in not playing the cover drive at all in his famous knock of 241 not out in Sydney in 2004,” Chopra opined.
Meanwhile, it is well known that Rohit is a big match-winner in the white-ball format and Chopra reckons the move to open the innings with him was the last throw of the dice to revive his Test career. Rohit now has grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
“Rohit is a runaway match-winner in white-ball cricket, but in Test cricket, his promotion to open the innings was considered a final throw of the dice to revive his career in the format, and also an attempt to get him to do what Virender Sehwag, another stroke-maker of high quality, did in the same role.”
Rohit Sharma will now lead Mumbai Indians in the second phase of IPL 2021.