Rohit Sharma has amazed many with a record three double hundreds in ODIs. But the only question raised about the cricketer from Mumbai is his lack of consistency which is why from the very beginning of his career, Rohit has been in and out of the national team. Though the picture seems to be changing over the last one year as the swashbuckling cricketer has become a prolific run-getter in international cricket. He is rewarded with a place in the national test team as well, after a lot of speculation. He will be a part of the Indian Test team, which will be touring Australia by the end of the year. The childhood coach of Rohit Sharma, Mr. Dinesh Lad feels that his disciple is going through the best phase of his career. In a chat with the CrickerSoccer, Dinesh predicts that Rohit is going to shine for the test team as well.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer (CS): Rohit is hitting the headlines with his consistent run scoring over the last couple of years. Though, it was lack of consistency which made his life tougher once. How did he evolve as a batsman?
Dinesh Lad (DL): I was his school cricket team coach in Swami Vivekanand International School. I have seen Rohit from his childhood days. I was never surprised to see Rohit’s big and quick knocks in limited overs cricket, which he had mastered over almost last one decade. But yes, I felt sorry for his lack of consistency. There was no proper reason behind it. Which was more painful was the way he had been criticized in a part of the media. But that period was a very good learning experience for him. It made him mature not only as a cricketer, but also as a human being. He is now feeling the responsibility which his team has bestowed upon him. Now, Rohit is able to put the price on his wicket. That is the main reason behind his consistency. I think he is passing through the best phase of his career.
CS: How would you describe batsman Rohit Sharma?
DL: When he is set, he is India’s most dangerous batsman. His confidence level is high and he is hitting technically proper shots from coaching book manual. His face goes with the ball and gives proper elevation to his shots. I’ve never seen any batsman who makes batting look so easy. And the timing is a god gifted virtue to him. He hits all those big sixers with fabulous timing only. And the opening slot suits Rohit’s style of play. If you look at the records, Rohit’s career graph made a steep ascent ever since he was promoted to the opener’s slot in 2013. He has been consistent and scored all his hundreds in that position. His batting average has also vastly improved. He is currently the most dangerous opening batsmen in the world.
CS: As an opener, what is his speciality?
DL: He used to open for his school and when he was asked to open for India his confidence grew up. He plays late with a straight bat and close to the ball. His timing is superb, plays with the middle of the bat and bisects the field easily. He makes optimum use of fielding restrictions. That is why he looks so dangerous. He can win matches single-handedly, which he has done again and again.
CS: Now he has left a mark with his captaincy as well, winning the Asia Cup for India. Does it boost his confidence?
DL: He had the confidence to captain a team as he has led the Mumbai Indians to three IPL titles. He has taken a bit more responsibility as the captain of the team. Each time he ensured he stayed at the wicket. He is in good form and is making the most out of it.
CS: Getting selected in the test team, which is scheduled to tour Australia by the end of this year, can he now shed off the tag that he is good for limited overs cricket only?
DL: He deserves this opportunity. And one thing I must add, Rohit has earned his place in the test team selected for the tour to Australia. I always believed that he can shine in the test format as well. Whenever he has played Ranji Trophy for his state team Mumbai, he has done well. I don’t know why he was tagged as a limited overs specialist. Rohit is very good against bounce and in Australia, he will definitely be successful with the bat. After the Asia Cup, we had a chat and Rohit told me that he is eager to prove himself in the longer version of the game as well. I know he has the ability to prove his critics wrong. Let’s wait and watch.