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Rohit Sharma’s Twenty20 lean run a concern for inexperienced India line-up

Rohit Sharma is currently suffering his leanest patch in Twenty20 Internationals ever since being promoted as an opener and this is a slight concern for the inexperienced India at the Nidahas Trophy.

cricket Updated: Mar 10, 2018 19:35 IST
Nidahas Trophy 2018,Indian cricket team,Rohit Sharma
India batsman Rohit Sharma has been struggling with consistency in T20 cricket in recent times.(AFP)

Before the start of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 tri-series, Rohit Sharma was asked a question on how much he loves playing against Sri Lanka. The India captain laughed sheepishly before giving a diplomatic answer, “I treat all opposition the same way.” (SL v BAN UPDATES | SCORECARD)

Rohit’s exploits against Sri Lanka in 2017 were a mixture of spectacular highs and lows across formats. In Tests, he hit a century in Nagpur, blasted his third double century (208) in the Mohali ODI and hit a blazing 118 in Indore to become one of the few batsmen to hit two centuries in Twenty20 Internationals. However, since that Indore Twenty20 ton, the current India skipper has had scores of 27, 21, 0, 11, 0, 17.

The 30-year-old’s current streak of low scores in his last six T20 innings is his leanest in this format since being promoted to opening slot in 2013 during the Rajkot game against Australia.

Worry in inexperienced line-up

With the likes of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni being rested for the series, Rohit, who has played 76 Twenty20 International games, is the most experienced batsman in the line-up along with Shikhar Dhawan (33) and Suresh Raina (70).

With Raina not getting the big scores, the Indian batting in the Nidahas Trophy has been heavily reliant on Dhawan who has responded with scores of 90 and 55. With the rest of the squad having only a combined Twenty20 experience of just 54 games, India will be banking on Rohit to score big if they are to reach the finals.

Poor form amid promotion

Rohit’s dismissals have been a combination of poor execution and some inspired fielding. In the opening game against Sri Lanka, the right-hander was undone by a brilliant diving catch from Jeevan Mendis while against Bangladesh, he tried to late-cut Mustafizur Rahman but dragged the ball back onto the stumps. In the series against South Africa, he was undone by some late inward movement from Junior Dala in Centurion and in Cape Town, he was trapped LBW.

The India skipper’s slump comes at a time when he has been included in the A+ grade of BCCI players’ contracts. On Thursday, the Board introduced an A+ category, with Kohli, Rohit, Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah being ensured an annual retainership of R7 crore each.

Following his low score against Bangladesh, Rohit was subjected to trolling on social media where people compared him to an employee who doesn’t perform after a pay hike. With India eyeing revenge against Sri Lanka following their five-wicket loss in the opening game, the time is now for the India skipper to turn his form around.

First Published: Mar 10, 2018 19:32 IST