Rohit Sharma does not seek excuses for his omission from the Indian ODI squad. “I know I have not done well. Fair enough. But I will come back stronger,” he told The Hindu here on Monday.
The talented batsman is not a part of the Indian teams for the tri-series in Sri Lanka and the ICC Champions Trophy. He realises that his ODI record - 695 runs in 41 matches at 24.82 with four half-centuries - does not do justice to his ability. He is prepared to introspect.
“I will be playing in the domestic competitions including the Corporate Cup and I will be focussing on all aspects of my batting,” he said. Rohit is representing Mumbai in the Buchi Babu tournament here.
Rohit’s failures in the ODIs are baffling since he has a creditable record in first class and Twenty20 cricket. He has 1923 runs in 28 first class matches at 49.30.
The wristy batsman scored a hundred in each innings of Ranji Trophy final against Uttar Pradesh this year in Hyderabad. His effort in the first innings was constructed after the Uttar Pradesh pacemen made early inroads on a seaming first day pitch. He was precise in his use of feet.
In Twenty20 cricket, the 22-year-old batsman has sparkled with his rich repertoire of strokes on either side of the wicket and his ability to improvise. He can unsettle the length of the bowlers at the death.
In 13 Twenty20 internationals, Rohit has 238 runs at 34.00 at a whopping strike rate of 122.68. He has sizzled in the IPL as well.
“It’s just one of those things,” Rohit responds when asked about his spells of inconsistency in the ODIs where he would, ideally, have more time and space to build an innings.
The question is - has the exposure to Twenty20 cricket where the emphasis is on the big hits affected the other aspects of his batting like playing himself in and working the ball around for the singles and the twos? In Twenty20 cricket, he has been forced to seek boundary hits much too often and too early. Is all this impacting his approach in the ODIs?
Share of problems
Rohit has also had his share of problems - vis a vis the pull shot against the short-pitched ball from the pacemen - in Twenty20 cricket.
He defends his ploy. “Every batsman has a couple of strokes that are very productive. The pull shot worked for me in the IPL.
“In the World Twenty20, I got out attempting the shot against the West Indies and England. It can happen and those two days are among the toughest of my life. But I will not give up on my pull stroke,” he insists.
“Nothing is easy in cricket,” says the man who has time to play his strokes. He is also a sweet timer of the ball. However, Rohit has not timed his performances in the ODIs. “This will change,” he insists.