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In Stats: Rohit Sharma Aces ODIs But Fails the Big ‘Test’

Statistician Arun Gopalakrishnan decodes Rohit Sharma’s batting through numbers.

Updated
Sports
3 min read
File photo of Rohit Sharma. (Photo: AP)
Snapshot
  • Statistician Arun Gopalakrishnan decodes the reasons behind Rohit Sharma’s success in the shorter format of the game and his consistent failures in Tests through numbers.
  • The opening slot has helped Rohit Sharma perform well in ODIs and T20s.
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There are very few batsmen in world cricket who have the knack of scoring daddy hundreds like Rohit Sharma did at Perth the other day. In fact, the Mumbai batsman is part of an elite club of batsmen who have posted four or more scores of 150 and more in ODIs.

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP)

Post the knock (171*) at WACA in the first ODI, former India cricketer Aakash Chopra tweeted that Rohit Sharma is India’s best batsman in the current ODI line-up after Virat Kohli.

That comment must have sounded extremely sweet to the millions of Rohit Sharma fans, to all the selectors who have backed him over an extended period of time, and to the Indian team management over the years for persisting with the Mumbai batsman.

For it is only in the last two years that Rohit has emerged from the “talented” tag he has carried for far too long, and is justifying his place in the Indian team with consistent performances.

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP)

In the avatar of an opener, Rohit has turned out to be an invaluable asset to the Indian limited overs team. While the Rohit of old (pre-2013) averaged 30.43 and was rather inconsistent (14 scores of 50 or more, 28 single-digit scores in a total of 81 innings), Rohit version 2.0 has been pretty consistent (22 scores of 50 or more, 12 single-digit scores in a total of 56 innings).

The Mumbai batsman has done well in the T20 formats too. Here are his numbers in the T20 format:

(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

The numbers clearly establish that the Mumbai batsman certainly has what it takes to score runs. He is a proven performer in ODIs, in T20 Internationals and even in the Indian Premier League (where he is the second-highest run-getter).

It is therefore an enigma that one finds a completely different shade of Rohit Sharma when he dons the white flannels. If one takes out his 177 and 111 from his first two Test matches, Rohit’s numbers in Test cricket are rather modest at best; in the following 14 Tests, he has scored an aggregate of 608 runs at an average of 23.38, with just 4 half-centuries to show.

(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)
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It is not that Rohit Sharma doesn’t have the nous to succeed in the longer version; he scored hundreds in his first two Test innings, and even has staggering numbers while batting for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy.

(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

It is therefore possibly only a question of better application, doing the hard yards and putting a higher price on his wicket for him to stamp his authority in the longer version of the game. The earlier he learns to do it, the better served Indian cricket will be.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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