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‘Rohit Sharma over-thinking, over-cautious; not good…’: India captain’s woes summed up before IND vs ENG 3rd Test

RP Singh, who has played a lot of cricket with and against the current India captain, said an over-cautious Rohit Sharma is not good for the team.

Former India cricketer RP Singh feels Rohit Sharma has been “over-thinking” and “over-cautious” in the ongoing Test series against England. The Indian captain has been short of runs at a time when the team needs him the most. In the absence of Virat Kohli (withdrawn due to personal reasons), KL Rahul (injured), and Shreyas Iyer (dropped), Rohit is the lynchpin of India’s batting unit but all the opener has managed to pull off in the first two Tests is 24, 39, 14 and 13.

India’s Rohit Sharma walks back to the pavilion after losing his wicket(REUTERS)

More than the low returns, what is worrying is Rohit’s confusing approach. The same batter, who batted only one way during the ODI World Cup irrespective of the match situation and opposition, has suddenly decided to go in his shell. All it needed was one failure in the first innings of the first Test in Hyderabad.

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When batting on 24 off 26 balls, Rohit charged down the track to left-arm spinner Jack Leach but couldn’t get to the pitch of the ball. he could only hit it as far as the mid-on fielder who had to backpaddle to take the catch. Rohit stayed positive in the second innings. Instead of leaving his crease, he decided to pepper the square boundaries with sweeps and reverse sweeps but just when he was looking at his best, a Tom Hartley straighter one struck his pads in front of the stumps. And that was it.

Rohit decided to go into a shell. In Visakhapatnam, he didn’t attempt a single attacking shot during his 41-ball stay in the middle in the first innings. This time another debutant, Shoaib Bashire accounted for the Indian captain, who pushed a harmless deliver straight to the leg slip; that’s what happens when a free-flowing batter forgets to score.

In the second innings, Rohit had no answer to James Anderson’s peach of delivery, that uprooted his off stump.

‘An over-cautious Rohit is not good both as a batter and as a person’

RP Singh, who has played a lot of cricket with and against the current India captain, said an over-cautious Rohit is not good for the team. The former left-arm pacer urged Rohit to play his natural game and look to hit boundaries.

“Rohit Sharma is overthinking. He’s thinking about playing a big knock, build at least two-three partnerships in the absence of other main players to take the innings forward. He’s being over-cautious in trying to do that. He’s not that kind of a player. His style is different. He is a free-flowing batter and that is missing. He can play his shots. An over-cautious Rohit is not good both as a batter and as a person,” he said on Cricbuzz.

One of the major reasons behind Rohit’s cautious approach can be the inexperience in India’s middle-order. In the last Test, there was no Kohli, Rahul or Ravindra Jadeja. There was a debutant in Rajat Patidar. Jadeja will return for the third Test in Rajkot but Rahul is yet to regain full fitness and Shreyas Iyer has been dropped due to poor form. That means, another debut – Sarfaraz Khan – is on the cards.


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