'Doesn't really have to do what he is looking to do': Gavaskar's straightforward response to Rohit's batting vs AUS
In his attempt to flick Josh Hazlewood over deep mid-wicket, Rohit handed a catch to Nathan Ellis in the third over. He perished after scoring 11 off 9 deliveries in the 1st T20I against Australia.
Hardik Pandya’s 71 not out off 47 balls set up India’s 208 for six but Australia overhauled the total with four balls to spare to win the opening game of the three-match T20I series on Tuesday. It was Australia's second-highest successful chase in the white-ball format and highest against the Indian men, who rode Pandya's rapid fifty and KL Rahul's 35-ball 55. Suryakumar Yadav also chipped in with a brisk 46, while India lost Rohit Sharma (11) and Virat Kohli (2) in the powerplay itself.
In his attempt to flick Josh Hazlewood over deep mid-wicket, Rohit handed a catch to Nathan Ellis in the third over. He perished after scoring 11 off 9 deliveries. Kohli too departed shortly but Rahul and Suryakumar shared a 68-run stand off 42 balls, as it was raining sixes in Mohali despite India suffering two early blows.
Legendary Sunil Gavaskar feels Rohit should take more time to settle at the top instead of his gung-ho approach – a testament to India's renewed batting strategy in the 20-over format. The former India captain feels Rohit's wide-ranging strokeplay can help him elevate his strike rate as the innings progresses.
"With Rohit Sharma, the range of shot that he has, he doesn't really have to do what he is looking to do over here, that is step down the pitch even before the bowler has released the ball," Gavaskar told India Today.
"The way he has been playing T20 cricket before that, his scoring and strike rate has been phenomenal. It's been absolutely terrific. He hasn't tried to do anything more. Over here, in the last few matches, it just seems to me that he is looking to do a little bit more and, in the process, getting out.
"The white ball might move as much as the red ball. But there is just that slight movement which can be the difference between the ball hitting the middle of the bat and the ball taking the edge of the bat. So it means it could be hitting the ball into the air rather than into the stands. I do believe that Rohit needs to give himself that little more time, he has got all the shots in the book. Even if he gets off to a slow start, he can triple it by the time his innings is over," he added.
While Suryakumar and Rahul maintained the tempo in middle overs, Pandya took over and pushed India past 200. He hit three consecutive sixes off Cameron Green in the 20th over including a flat one in the mid-wicket region, as India gathered 67 in the last five overs.
Australia, in reply, relied on Matthew Wade's 45 not out from 21 balls. Green also produced an attacking 61 off 30 as the visitors gunned down a formidable 209-run target rather comfortably, going 1-0 up in the three-match series.