Former India batting coach, Sanjay Bangar, emphasized the importance of Rohit Sharma reverting to his method of building innings in the early stages of ODIs and then shifting gears as he prepares for the 2023 World Cup.
Despite his remarkable records, including becoming the second fastest to 10,000 ODI runs and holding the distinction of three ODI double centuries, Rohit Sharma, aged 36, has managed just two centuries in 30 ODI matches since 2020, mainly due to a change in his approach to aggressive batting right from the start.
In the last year, the accomplished batsman has maintained a strike rate of more than 110 in 24 matches, a notable increase from his career average of 90.52. However, Bangar advised in an interview with Star Sports that Rohit should revert to his previous approach of initially accumulating runs, which had been highly effective during his nearly seven-year tenure as an opener.
“I feel the one of an accumulator (what role should he play?). He is someone who has had phenomenal success as an ODI player. And many times that he has scored his hundred, it’s around the 30th over. All those 3 double hundreds that we speak of and rave of so much, the acceleration came toward the last 10-12 overs where he just toys with the bowling,” said Bangar.
Even while adopting an aggressive approach, Rohit has managed to achieve 50 or more runs in four of his last five ODIs, starting from the Nepal match in the Asia Cup and continuing through to the final game against Australia. The Indian captain has explained that his decision to initiate early attacks is a conscious effort to align with the contemporary standards set by the 2019 World Cup-winning team, England.
“He has the flexibility to act as a run-gatherer”- Sanjay Bangar on Rohit Sharma
Sanjay Bangar believed that if Rohit Sharma adopts a calmer approach until the 35th over, India will frequently achieve scores around 350 or more. Bangar also thought that Shubman Gill’s emergence as an aggressive batter at the other end should give Rohit the opportunity to settle in before launching his innings.
“So a dangerous Rohit Sharma, if he gets to that 35-over mark, then India is assured of a score of around 350. If he sticks to that sort of a template and I know he is trying to do certain other things, maybe take the game away from the bowlers. But he has got a phenomenal, fearless Shubman Gill, he can afford to play the accumulator which will guarantee that India will get a big total,” said Bangar.
The pair quickly reached 1,000 ODI runs, setting a record for Indian partnerships during the Asia Cup 2023 match against Sri Lanka. Impressively, Rohit and Shubman have forged four-century partnerships in just 14 outings.
This dynamic duo aims to guide India to their third ODI World Cup victory, commencing their campaign against Australia in Chennai on Sunday, October 8.