We are analyzing Rohit Sharma’s batting by comparing his strengths and weaknesses, his statistics and his record vs pace and spin.
Rohit Gurunath Sharma is an Indian International cricketer who plays for Mumbai in domestic cricket and captains Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. He is born on the 30th of April 1987. He is the only cricketer in the history of cricket to score more than one ODI double hundred having scored 3 of them.
Rohit Sharma is considered one of the best batsmen in the current cricket era. He is currently the vice-captain of the Indian cricket team in the limited-overs format. He is India’s right-handed opener who has enjoyed success over the years. Rohit Sharma in fact holds the record of the highest ODI score scored by a batsman in international cricket. This knock included 264 runs off 173 balls against Sri Lanka.
Rohit Sharma Statistics
Rohit Sharma ODI Statistics
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Rohit Sharma T20 Statistics
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Rohit Sharma Test Statistics
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We can see by the above statistics that Rohit Sharma enjoys ODI & T20 more than Test Cricket
Rohit Sharma vs pace:
Rohit Sharma is a beautiful batsman when he bats against pace, he can pull any short ball for 6. His major weakness is when the ball is new and the ball comes back into him where he misses the ball and gets struck on the pads .
Rohit Sharma Closed Stance
The above picture is a match between India and Sri Lanka in the 2017 champions trophy. Here you can see that he is batting with a closed stance. So, what happens here is when he commits to playing a front-foot drive and suddenly the balls come back into him there is no going back and he is stuck in an awkward position and will not be able to make bat and ball contact which leads to LBW or even bowled.
Similarly applying the same theory if he gets ready for an inswinger and suddenly the ball moves out, again he is stuck in an awkward position and this will lead to an outside edge to the keeper or the slips. Bowlers generally bait him by giving him 2 outswingers to drive and later they get the ball back in and get him out.
Rohit Sharma Open Stance:
Here the above picture is a match between India and Australia, where Rohit has opened his stance which will help him not get his leg across and get stuck and will help him adjust more easily in case the ball suddenly comes back in or goes out. The open stance helps Rohit pull any short ball for six with ease. This stance will help Rohit to tackle fast bowlers in a better way and not get out LBW often. Hence the open stance of Rohit Sharma has done him wonders where he averaged 62.53 in the next 3 years(2018,2019,2020) in ODIS.
Rohit Sharma vs Spin:
The biggest challenge Rohit Sharma faces till date is spin bowling. Be it leg-spin, off-spin, left-arm orthodox, or even a chinaman, Rohit’s spin bowling struggle still continues.
From the above chart we can clearly say that Rohit finds playing spin bowling more difficult compared to pace bowling. That is why Rohit finds it very difficult to score runs on spinning pitches like Chennai. Rohit averages only 27.22 in Chennai from 2008 to 2019 in IPL. The main reason why Rohit struggles against spin bowling is because he reads the spin off the ball after its pitched whereas good players of spin such as Steve Smith, Dean Elgar read the spin of the ball when the ball is just about to be released by the bowler.
Strengths of Rohit Sharma:
Rohit Sharma is one of those batsmen who can play all the shots in the book. But the shot that he plays the best has to be the pull shot.
In the above picture you can see how he plays the pull shot frame by frame. So, in the first frame he gets ready and moves his feet towards the direction of the ball hence his left foot is in line with the ball. This gets him in a more comfortable position to hit the ball as powerful as he can.
In the second frame he waits for the ball to come to him and doesn’t hurry to the ball. He gets right under the ball which helps him obtain more and better control to play the shot and watch the ball till it hits the bat. Since watching the ball right till the end is the most basic and important point told by every coach.
In the Third frame he connects the ball right in the middle of the bat and hits the ball comfortably for a boundary using all his power. The main point in the third frame is the balance that he maintains while playing the shot. These three frames explain why he is really good at playing the pull shot.
The other shot Rohit plays really well is the cover drive. Let’s breakdown the shot into 3 frames to analyze why he is good at playing it.
In the first frame we can see that his head is straight and steady, this helps the batsman to see the ball clearly. We can also see that he is standing on the middle stump which means that he is ready to drive any ball that is bowled outside off.
In the second frame we can see that he firmly plants his leg towards the direction of the ball and takes his bat lift as he is ready to drive the ball. Again, his head is steady and firm which helps him to have full concentration on the ball.
In the third frame he waits for the ball to come on to the bat and sweetly times the ball through the gaps for four.
Why isn’t Rohit Sharma successful in Test Cricket?
Test cricket is the most difficult form of the game. It requires patience, strength, stamina, and a high amount of concentration. Test cricket is played with the red ball which is a completely different game itself from the white ball. The red ball swings dreadfully unlike the white ball where it swings only for the first 10 overs. Hence, it’s an even more difficult task for the opening batsmen as the ball is new and starts swinging crazy.
Rohit Sharma made his test debut on 6 November 2013(cap 280) against the West Indies. He was made to play at No.6 and scored 177 runs on debut in the first innings. But then later on he did not manage to score runs and was very inconsistent and was dropped from the team. This is because he used to play irresponsible shots and get out. And later on, Rohit Sharma made a comeback to test cricket in 2019 where he played the pink ball test against Bangladesh and failed to perform. He managed to score only 27 runs in 2 innings. But later when he was given another opportunity to open for India against South Africa, he scored a brilliant 113 on a hot sunny day in Vizag. He got a double hundred too in the same tournament.
Rohit Sharma will be deemed a successful test match batsman only if he performs well overseas. He is yet to open for India in a test match overseas. He was supposed to play in the recently concluded India tour of New Zealand test match but had got injured which ruled him out of the tournament. Let’s wait and watch what Rohit does overseas.