Rohit Sharma is one of the most gifted batsmen in world cricket, especially dangerous in the limited-overs formats. When on song, the Indian opener is a delight to watch for everyone, barring the opposition.
Sharma who has the highest individual score in One-Day Internationals has many admirers for his match-winning ability, but he has also had a fair share of critics who seek more from the Indian vice-captain.
Speaking on people’s perception of the frustrating nature of his dismissals at times, the Indian opener gave a low-down of his batting approach in an interview with The Times of India.
“It is important that you continue to have the same fun you had when you started playing the sport. I sometimes like to think the way I thought when I was 12-13 years of age,” Sharma told the newspaper.
Elaborating on the point, Sharma said his freewheeling approach to batting helps him maintain rhythm during his innings.
“What works for me is what works for me. I’m going to stick to my plans. In those double hundreds that I have scored, you’ve got to see how many balls I had consumed by the time I reached my first 10 runs, the first 50 runs, the first 75-80 runs. It’ll hardly be five balls, 10 runs or 25 balls, 50 runs, but I’ve still got there,” the 32-year-old said.
Sharma has come under the scanner often for playing the wrong shot at the wrong time, but he defended his style, suggesting he is rewarded for the risks he takes.
“What people don’t understand is they know and recognize me as a cricketer because of those very shots. I wouldn’t have been scoring the kind of runs I did if I didn’t take those risks. For instance, just this week, someone shared an interesting stat with me. Post the 2015 World Cup, I’ve hit 130 sixes. The next best from India is 55. The margin of 75, you see, is the margin of risk I’ve taken. Simple,” he explained.
Most No. of sixes for India (Apr '15 - May '19)
|Player||Matches (innings)||Sixes hit||Balls faced per six hit|
|Rohit Sharma||71 (71)||130||30.59|
|Virat Kohli||69 (69)||55||79.62|
|MS Dhoni||79 (61)||41||60.02|
|Hardik Pandya||45 (29)||36||17.42|
|Shikhar Dhawan||67 (67)||34||85.91|
Sharma acknowledges that the responsibility of scoring bulk of India’s runs at the upcoming World Cup lies with the top three who, he feels, need to provide the platform for the middle-order to fire. Apart from providing India with a good start, Sharma will have to apply his wits to help out Virat Kohli with decision-making on the field.
“I’m happy to play a part in that space. Whatever matters for the team is priority No 1. I’ll be happy to do whatever is asked of me,” he said.
India play their opening game of the 2019 World Cup against South Africa on June 5.