October 4, 2013

Rohit Sharma's work-in-progress ODI career

While the runs have come in 2013, his strike rate remains among the lowest of all current batsmen, which is surprising for a player of his ball-striking abilities
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In this Indian line-up, no player divides opinions as dramatically as Rohit Sharma. Depending on which camp you belong to, he is either India's biggest batting talent since Sachin Tendulkar, or the most over-rated batsman since the beginning of cricket. As in most stories with such extremes, the truth probably lies somewhere in between.

With those who favour Rohit, one of the points made in his defence is the manner in which he has been shunted up and down the batting order, seldom batting at the same position for more than a few innings. In 2013, though, that excuse is no longer valid, as Rohit has batted at no other position but the top of the line-up in 16 consecutive ODI innings this year, easily his longest stretch in one position: his previous-best had been ten in a row at No. 5 in 2011, and five in a row at No. 4 in 2012. (Click here for Rohit's innings-by-innings list.)

In these 16 innings as opener in 2013, Rohit has gone past 50 six times, and made two others scores of more than 45, lending credence to the belief that this might perhaps be the best position for him to bat in. Yet, questions remain, because unlike Shikhar Dhawan, his opening partner who has converted three of his six 50-plus scores into hundreds in the same period, Rohit's highest as opener is 83, and his next-best 65. So while Rohit has been doing his bit in getting his team off to good starts, his lack of match-winning scores means he hasn't yet sealed the position for himself, which is a pity given that the opening slot presents the best opportunity for a batsman to make his mark in limited-overs cricket.

As the table below shows, he didn't take his opportunities at No. 3 a few years ago, scoring only 102 in eight innings. His stats as an opener are far better, yet not as convincing as they might have been.

Rohit Sharma at each batting position in ODIs
Position Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
Opening 19 609 35.82 67.36 0/ 6
No.3 8 102 12.75 60.71 0/ 0
No.4 26 715 31.08 78.14 2/ 3
No.5 25 862 45.36 82.64 0/ 8
No.6 12 200 28.57 73.80 0/ 1
No.7 7 70 14.00 85.36 0/ 0

The other aspect about Rohit's batting that is perplexing is his strike rate. For a batsman of his ball-striking skills, his scoring rate in ODIs is quite pedestrian - 75.61, in an age when almost all top batsmen score at around 85. Perhaps the role given to him by the team management has been that of the anchor - since there are so many strokeplayers in the side - but then his relatively poor average indicates he hasn't played too many long innings either. The combination of a relatively low average and strike rate, over a fairly extended period of time, is the reason why several critics have been questioning his position in the side for a while. As an opener he has clearly contributed more consistently in 2013, but his strike rate this year has only been 68.63.

Overall in his career, Rohit's strike rate of 75.61 is the fifth-lowest among all batsmen who've scored at least 2000 ODI runs since June 23, 2007, which is when Rohit made his ODI debut. Out of 45 batsmen who make the cut, only Mushfiqur Rahim, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Upul Tharanga and Misbah-ul-Haq have scored their runs at a slower rate. Rohit's strike rate looks even worse when compared to the average scoring rate in the matches he has played in: against an overall strike rate of 82.54, his rate was 75.61, a percentage 91.60. That's the second-lowest among all the batsmen in the list below; the only batsman with a lower percentage is Mushfiqur Rahim - his strike rate is 91.57% of the overall match strike rate in those games, but then Rahim is a part of a weaker side, and he often comes to the crease with Bangladesh in trouble.

All the other batsmen have scored faster than Rohit, relative to the scoring rates in those matches. There have been plenty of remarks about Misbah's strike rates, but even he has scored faster when compared to the match rates. (His strike rate of 74.18 is 97.33% of the match rates, in the games that he has played in.) It's a similar story for the likes of Jonathan Trott, Mohammad Hafeez, Chanderpaul, Tharanga and Younis Khan. Rohit is clearly a more flamboyant strokeplayer than these players - and he scored an unbeaten 51 off 24 balls in the Champions League a couple of days back to further demonstrate his ball-striking skills - but in ODIs, he has generally tended to play within himself, often not backing his talent and range of strokeplay. Obviously, the rate of scoring will also go up once he gets bigger scores more consistently.

Lowest batting strike rates in ODIs since June 23, 2007 (Qual: 2000 runs)
Batsman Matches Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s Match SR* Ratio
Mushfiqur Rahim 97 2008 25.41 69.77 1/ 9 76.19 0.92
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 51 2005 60.75 72.53 5/ 13 77.53 0.94
Upul Tharanga 113 3399 34.33 74.03 7/ 20 76.94 0.96
Misbah-ul-Haq 116 3667 46.41 74.18 0/ 29 76.21 0.97
Rohit Sharma 102 2558 32.37 75.61 2/ 18 82.54 0.92
Michael Clarke 120 4252 44.75 75.65 6/ 30 79.42 0.95
Hamilton Masakadza 90 2717 30.87 76.53 3/ 15 76.15 1.00
Mohammad Hafeez 82 2659 34.98 76.65 6/ 14 74.98 1.02
Jonathan Trott 68 2819 51.25 77.06 4/ 22 83.14 0.93
Younis Khan 102 3026 32.89 77.54 4/ 22 77.48 1.00
* Overall strike rate in the matches played by that batsman

During the period since Rohit's debut, only eight Indian batsmen have scored 2500 ODI runs; no one else has even touched 1300. Among these eight batsmen, Rohit's average and strike rate are both the lowest: the next-lowest average is Raina's 38.87, while Dhoni's 84.09 is the closest strike rate to Rohit's.

The last two columns of the table below list the dot-ball and boundary percentages, and most of the batsmen below have worked on those two aspects well to achieve good strike rates. Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh have dot-ball percentages of 54, but they both have relatively high boundary percentages to make up for that. Some of the others with lower boundary percentages have lower dot-ball percentages, while Virender Sehwag combines a relatively low dot-ball percentage with a very high boundary ratio to achieve an incredible strike rate of 118.94.

Rohit, on the other hand, has a dot-ball percentage of almost 52, which wouldn't be so bad if his boundary percentage wasn't only 37.61. The combination of the two has resulted in a strike rate of 75, which is clearly below par by today's standards.

The opening position, though, has brought stability to Rohit's place in the Indian line-up. He has made runs too, often important ones, and more consistently than he used to in the past. All but two of his innings as an opener have been outside the subcontinent, in conditions where opening the batting against two new balls haven't been the easiest. In India, conditions are likely to be easier for batting at the start of an innings, with run-scoring getting more difficult against the older ball. That could be a blessing for Rohit, both in terms of lifting his average and strike rate. It would suit the Indian team just fine too.

Indian batsmen who've scored at least 2000 ODI runs since Rohit's debut
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s Dot-ball % Boundary %
Virender Sehwag 75 3120 42.73 118.94 7/ 13 47.20 65.96
Suresh Raina 122 3693 38.87 95.79 3/ 26 45.76 46.74
Yuvraj Singh 105 3546 39.40 88.38 6/ 23 54.29 54.71
Sachin Tendulkar 78 3579 48.36 88.37 8/ 19 54.43 54.04
Virat Kohli 108 4575 49.72 86.64 15/ 24 48.67 42.40
Gautam Gambhir 122 4636 41.76 86.12 9/ 32 49.71 43.10
MS Dhoni 134 5070 53.36 84.09 5/ 35 48.91 39.61
Rohit Sharma 97 2558 32.37 75.61 2/ 18 51.91 37.61

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • emceedrive on October 4, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    The problem with Rohit is simple: in the modern age, limited over cricket is seen as a trial for test cricket. Just look at his domestic numbers: he clearly isn't a talent in the shorter version of the game. He requires time to get himself in, and while he can play a dazzling array of strokes, he doesn't rotate strike well enough to be a top ODI player right now. He should've been playing in tests for the least 2-3 years, and even now I'll say it: Rohit should be playing tests, immediately. There is no reason for him not to be. We've all seen the flashes of ability in the format of the game that he isn't good at, why not put him in his element (the multi-day game) and give him a fair shot. Its hilarious how many people crow about all the chances he's had when he hasn't played a single test. That would be like asking Harbhajan to be a fast bowler and then being mad that he's only shown glimpses of potential. He's brilliant. Let him play in his format and he'll show it.

  • DharmeshGOYAL on October 8, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    India lost 8 test ....4 in aus and 4 in england. in those matches Rohit was in squad as a visitor. IF every one says He has talent and class .give him a chance in test. after all he is the only cricketer who played 100 odi without a single test. his strok playing ability is incridible.

  • DaisonGarvasis on October 8, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    @emceedrive - One thing Rohit has got is CHANCES. Now you are suggesting he should be given "chances" in Test level too. Why is it that only Rohit should get ALL the possible chances and all the rest of the young players just get one or two chances? If Rohit is soo special (you sound like a Mumbaikar), how come he has not utilized the chances he got in limited over games? Come on, please take a look Dhawan; he was given ONE chance and he took it with both hands and made the position in the team HIS OWN. Please dont say Dhawan was just lucky and Rohit is more talented. How come the MORE TALENTED Rohit did not get lucky in all these games? I would say Rohit is the luckiest player around for getting all these chances. He got his fair chances and started to score a few fifties (not hundreds). He should be treated no more than an average player. He shoud stand up and show respect to players like Kohli, Raina, Dhawan, Gambhir etc. They showed their worth in the field - not in lobbying.

  • DaisonGarvasis on October 7, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    @naren1983 - Rohit, rather NOhit has always done well in IPL/T20 club level. Every year IPL he comes up with mind boggling performance in one or two games. The Mumbai Lobby Bandwagon (lurking in the background), will capitalize on those flashes in the pan calling him "the most gifted player around" and will get him selected for India duty. He then dishes out faiure after failure for around 15-20 games and when on the brink of getting dropped, will score a 50. As soon as the 50 is scored all sins are forgiven and he starts his next 15-20 games cycle. Two or three such cycle and next IPL season arrives, and the whole cycle restarts. This has been the case since he was first seen. He scored one 50 in the first T20 world cup and Mumbi lobby went "here is the next big thing". He has been the "next big thing" ever since. Now he is the MI Captain, making sure he is in playing 11. I dont think there is any other player around getting pampered as much as Rohit is.

  • naren1983 on October 7, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    Rohit wants to use the opportunity and score some runs under his belt to seal the spot first, I believe you will see a different Rohit in coming seasons once he score a hundred or two. He is peaking at a right time now, if you look at his current form in CLT20, he blasted all quality bowlers and his few match winning performances with strike rate above 200. This will take Rohit to continue to ODI with better strike rate in future. It is the best time for Rohit to prove his skills and important period in his career. Awesome Rohit !!!

  • DaisonGarvasis on October 6, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    As for me I would go with the side where it is thought Rohit Sharma is OVERRATED. He has been given chances after chances and kept delivering failure after failure. And then when one or two fifty is scored after upteenth failures, all sins are forgiven and he gets to start afresh. Whereas some other players (like Rahane), after couple of failures they are either forgotten completely or are kept on bench. Rohit has got the complete Mumbai Lobby behind him. Just so that he is in the playing eleven for Mumbai Indians, he is made the Captain of MI. Mumbai has no other names to show so they bring Rohit to the fore. Mumbai Lobby tried to pip Raina for Rohit but couldnt do becuase Dhoni prefer Raina. Talent doesnt give you place in the team, performance does for everybody else. But if you are Mumbaikar, you gets everything in silver platter.

  • on October 6, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    In case of Rohit its always talent without temperament. That is where the Sachins,Rahuls,VVSs,Kohlis and the others score. He is not fond of working hard and demanding a place, that too a permanent one. He has had a long rope and its time he bucks up. Am tired of hearing Shastri and Manjrekar crowing how great his captaincy has been and has transformed him. Statistics may never define the entire truth but it can be a healthy indicator. His success as a captain is more due to the super stars in his team. I may be condemned that end of the day it is a team game. But then look at Shikar Dhawan, he is a better talent,,hardworking and blends well with his limited resources in the team. May be Rahane would be a better investment.

  • WalkingWicket11 on October 6, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    He has been a talented cricketer for 6 years, give him another 10 years to settle down. He will realise his potential, if he doesn't retire by then, lol.

  • on October 5, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    rohit is a good no. 4 or no. 5 batsman, but unfortunately for him, we have someone like yuvraj or dhoni to bat at that position & kohli & raina sealing no. 3 & 6 respectively so he doesnt have a place in the middle order. As an opener he has been over cautious but at the moment we cant drop him as sehwag n gambhir have not done anything spectacular. So just have a look at him in next 3 odi against Aus, who knows he will become a regular odi opener.

  • on October 5, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    The Shastri;s and co. will say Rohit has potential till he is 60 ! No one in the world has been invested upon as much as Rohit... now its payback time!

  • emceedrive on October 4, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    The problem with Rohit is simple: in the modern age, limited over cricket is seen as a trial for test cricket. Just look at his domestic numbers: he clearly isn't a talent in the shorter version of the game. He requires time to get himself in, and while he can play a dazzling array of strokes, he doesn't rotate strike well enough to be a top ODI player right now. He should've been playing in tests for the least 2-3 years, and even now I'll say it: Rohit should be playing tests, immediately. There is no reason for him not to be. We've all seen the flashes of ability in the format of the game that he isn't good at, why not put him in his element (the multi-day game) and give him a fair shot. Its hilarious how many people crow about all the chances he's had when he hasn't played a single test. That would be like asking Harbhajan to be a fast bowler and then being mad that he's only shown glimpses of potential. He's brilliant. Let him play in his format and he'll show it.

  • DharmeshGOYAL on October 8, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    India lost 8 test ....4 in aus and 4 in england. in those matches Rohit was in squad as a visitor. IF every one says He has talent and class .give him a chance in test. after all he is the only cricketer who played 100 odi without a single test. his strok playing ability is incridible.

  • DaisonGarvasis on October 8, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    @emceedrive - One thing Rohit has got is CHANCES. Now you are suggesting he should be given "chances" in Test level too. Why is it that only Rohit should get ALL the possible chances and all the rest of the young players just get one or two chances? If Rohit is soo special (you sound like a Mumbaikar), how come he has not utilized the chances he got in limited over games? Come on, please take a look Dhawan; he was given ONE chance and he took it with both hands and made the position in the team HIS OWN. Please dont say Dhawan was just lucky and Rohit is more talented. How come the MORE TALENTED Rohit did not get lucky in all these games? I would say Rohit is the luckiest player around for getting all these chances. He got his fair chances and started to score a few fifties (not hundreds). He should be treated no more than an average player. He shoud stand up and show respect to players like Kohli, Raina, Dhawan, Gambhir etc. They showed their worth in the field - not in lobbying.

  • DaisonGarvasis on October 7, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    @naren1983 - Rohit, rather NOhit has always done well in IPL/T20 club level. Every year IPL he comes up with mind boggling performance in one or two games. The Mumbai Lobby Bandwagon (lurking in the background), will capitalize on those flashes in the pan calling him "the most gifted player around" and will get him selected for India duty. He then dishes out faiure after failure for around 15-20 games and when on the brink of getting dropped, will score a 50. As soon as the 50 is scored all sins are forgiven and he starts his next 15-20 games cycle. Two or three such cycle and next IPL season arrives, and the whole cycle restarts. This has been the case since he was first seen. He scored one 50 in the first T20 world cup and Mumbi lobby went "here is the next big thing". He has been the "next big thing" ever since. Now he is the MI Captain, making sure he is in playing 11. I dont think there is any other player around getting pampered as much as Rohit is.

  • naren1983 on October 7, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    Rohit wants to use the opportunity and score some runs under his belt to seal the spot first, I believe you will see a different Rohit in coming seasons once he score a hundred or two. He is peaking at a right time now, if you look at his current form in CLT20, he blasted all quality bowlers and his few match winning performances with strike rate above 200. This will take Rohit to continue to ODI with better strike rate in future. It is the best time for Rohit to prove his skills and important period in his career. Awesome Rohit !!!

  • DaisonGarvasis on October 6, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    As for me I would go with the side where it is thought Rohit Sharma is OVERRATED. He has been given chances after chances and kept delivering failure after failure. And then when one or two fifty is scored after upteenth failures, all sins are forgiven and he gets to start afresh. Whereas some other players (like Rahane), after couple of failures they are either forgotten completely or are kept on bench. Rohit has got the complete Mumbai Lobby behind him. Just so that he is in the playing eleven for Mumbai Indians, he is made the Captain of MI. Mumbai has no other names to show so they bring Rohit to the fore. Mumbai Lobby tried to pip Raina for Rohit but couldnt do becuase Dhoni prefer Raina. Talent doesnt give you place in the team, performance does for everybody else. But if you are Mumbaikar, you gets everything in silver platter.

  • on October 6, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    In case of Rohit its always talent without temperament. That is where the Sachins,Rahuls,VVSs,Kohlis and the others score. He is not fond of working hard and demanding a place, that too a permanent one. He has had a long rope and its time he bucks up. Am tired of hearing Shastri and Manjrekar crowing how great his captaincy has been and has transformed him. Statistics may never define the entire truth but it can be a healthy indicator. His success as a captain is more due to the super stars in his team. I may be condemned that end of the day it is a team game. But then look at Shikar Dhawan, he is a better talent,,hardworking and blends well with his limited resources in the team. May be Rahane would be a better investment.

  • WalkingWicket11 on October 6, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    He has been a talented cricketer for 6 years, give him another 10 years to settle down. He will realise his potential, if he doesn't retire by then, lol.

  • on October 5, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    rohit is a good no. 4 or no. 5 batsman, but unfortunately for him, we have someone like yuvraj or dhoni to bat at that position & kohli & raina sealing no. 3 & 6 respectively so he doesnt have a place in the middle order. As an opener he has been over cautious but at the moment we cant drop him as sehwag n gambhir have not done anything spectacular. So just have a look at him in next 3 odi against Aus, who knows he will become a regular odi opener.

  • on October 5, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    The Shastri;s and co. will say Rohit has potential till he is 60 ! No one in the world has been invested upon as much as Rohit... now its payback time!

  • 2nd_Slip on October 5, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Just another average flat track bully Indian batsman

  • on October 5, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    Rohit is very talented player and that is the reason Indian Team is supporting. We all knew, he failed some times which was long back. Right now he is playing well with confidence. He is a match winner for many many matches in T20 and LIST A and leading well in T20. He has the capability. If he scores belo50, people comment that, he is not making 50s and when he scores 50's regularly, pleople comment that he is making 100's. What the F**K it is? No matter what so ever.. he will play forever till he retires. No one can show their fingers on him. Have a blast career Rohit !!

  • king_julien on October 5, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    Great article sir, kudos.....Finally an article on what I had been saying in all those articles on Rohit....his strike rate in combination with his average is among the lowest ever. I have analysed his record for a long time (thanks to cricinfo) and came to the same conclusions. Another point is Rohit's record if you leave out WI and Zimbabwe is much worse, with a strike rate below 75 and average below 25. I am yet to see a batsman with such poor numbers who has such a fan following. What is talent without performance, as Boycott would say 'my mother has the most beautiful cover drive, sadly she her avg is 1.5'

    It's just that people form opinions and would use useless arguments to support it while missing the evidence. There's no excuse for such poor numbers, most of the causes given for his failures even out over 100 matches. The point is, if a team is built on meritocracy alone.....Rohit would never find a place in it, but in India opinion of the board is paramount not performance.

  • cric_options on October 5, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    Rajesh - Fantastic article. This was playing on everyone's mind, but we did not have the numbers. Now we know that numbers too portray what many of us thought about Rohit. He is supremely pampered for way too little contribution. And 102 matches, provides data of all kind to have concluded beyond any doubt that Rohit does not deserve a look in terms of selection for the next atleast the next five years. To all such distractors who want to slice and dice the data based on playing conditions, important but unrecognized contribution, let me ask them, do you do the same when making judgement call on every player? Believe me its a battle they are ought to lose. 102 matches is conclusive. Now the only little data to put this argument beyond all kinds of doubt would be to showcase cricketers from India and across the world who have not found a semi permanent place in the team, played much lesser but contributed way better than Rohit. It think it will truly put the selection committee to shame

  • BHARATLIFE on October 5, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    Rajesh, has a way of cooking up many numbers, but they sometimes do not give a good scale as to the contribution and the value of the runs. And there are a lot of factors, his role in the partnership, the pitches he played in as opener( Eng agreed was not exactly swinging, but WI was tough), his experience. He looks like a good mix of Laxman, Dravid and Sachin. Think about it, Matt Hayden's strike rate during both the world cup finals he played was less than 70!!! Look at the way Australia dominated both the games. He played a cover to Gilchrist on both occasions, Australia did not loose any momentum in the first 15.I would say both those innings were equally gold!!!!It looked a deliberate plan.I hope that is what is going with RG and Shikar as well. About strike rotation, take example of Sourav Ganguly Dada, he was slow between witckets, but he covered it up,with stroke play. Dada had small impediments with short stuff/on side,but RG can play both side equally.

  • on October 4, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    rohit is just hopeless,good for nothing player. I just want to know how many matches he won for india sisnce hit debut, 102 he played

  • on October 4, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    @Nagendran, what's wrong with you ? How can you compare a kid who needs drops every time he goes out to do anything of value with Sehwag ? Sehwag has won tests for India AND saved India from several losses.....Opposition captains choosing to bat an extra hour during the 3rd innings of a test just to protect themselves from Sehwag AND then, finding India 7 OR 8 down with 70 / 80 runs to go...another hour & their bowlers could have got the remaining Indian 2 / 3 wickets, but thanks to India having Sehwag in the 11, the captain was scared of giving his bowlers that extra hour. Dhawan is nowhere near that (at least as of today).

  • on October 4, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    The issue with Rohit Sharma doesn't lie in talent, it's in temperament and the selectors' (historic) fickleness with him. That temperament issue translates into two possible problems: a) his shot selection tends to be poor and b) his confidence fluctuates significantly based on the situation which exacerbates his shot selection issues or puts him into ultra-defensive mode. Given the selectors' changing their minds, him being shunted up and down the order as well being in and out of the team have made him a defensive player in international cricket leading to a low strike-rate.

    Now that he's grown up a bit in the last couple of years, he's demonstrated that he can be balanced under pressure when he's in a playing environment that respects his talent like the Mumbai Indians XI. So the best thing to do is stick with the lad, make him feel at home in the India XI and back him a bit more. That boost will allow his true talent to shine through. Just my two cents ..

  • SamRoy on October 4, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    I think Rohit Sharma is over-rated because people only look at his strokeplay. I still say that Yuvraj's strokeplay was more attractive than Sachin's and only second to Lara but his weak defence proved his bane in test cricket. Rohit like Yuvraj is quite loose. It equates to trouble in SA, NZ and England (where the ball swings).

  • on October 4, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    @Rajesh, is it possible to extend this analysis by controlling for conditions and opposition? One potential approach for strike rates could be to use the ratio of the batsman's strike rate in a match and the average strike rate of the other recognized batsman in the same match, and use this number instead of the actual strike rate. Something similar can be used for averages as well, though that requires a bit more thought.

  • jeyaharivignesh on October 4, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    Rohit is the real talent which will shine soon in the crown of the Indian Cricket and he'll be the future of the Indian test cricket. he's just 26, way to go. We all love Rohit and hope he'll make a mark in the Indian cricket soon:))

  • Nagendren on October 4, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    Dhawan might have scored 3 centuries but in all those games he was dropped atleast once.Even against Zimbabwe he was dropped twice before reaching century.Stop over estimating him.He is a kind of Sehwag who can win u a game on his day.Stop rating Rohit as a test player.He has played only 16 matches as an opener and many of them in england&wi.Looking at him in the champions league,i am sure that his confidence has raised to an other level.He will score alot of runs in the upcoming australian series.

  • vatsap on October 4, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    No doubt at all on the talent. Question is how long is he going to be given chances. People keep questioning Murali Vijay even after he scores 2 big centuries against Australia and topping the run chart. DK is another cricketer who has not been given his due. Sharma keeps getting umpteen chances thanks to the Mumbai lobby. He will end up proving to be a Mark Ramprakash or a Hick.

  • on October 4, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    He is just a talented player who does not value the India cap as much as some other players like Kohli Raina, Yuvraj or Pujara. When you have a lot of talent things happen very easily for you and u start taking things for granted.If you really want him to improve it is time that the people who are backing him give up on him and make him work harder to get into the team rather a one or two shiny 50s or 100s in List A

  • Roleplay on October 4, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    Rohit's career was ruined by SACHIN esp in ODI'S coza he decided on whenever he could come in and go out which made his place in team unstable plus he also batted lot of times down the order when there hardly any balls to score off which affected his average.People like nasser hussain,tom moody and ian chappel dont priase him just like that.He has class and he should be future no. 4 for out test team.

  • AsherCA on October 4, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    Rohit Sharma does divide opinions, but I guess the issue is basic - in T20, he has license to hit from ball 1. There is therefore no confusion in his mind. When it comes to longer versions, I guess irresponsible use of the word irresponsible by media, commentators et al plays on his mind. He ends up trying to look responsible by not attempting his shots (something probably not in his DNA ) and ends up paying the price. My suggestion - Rohit should stop trying to look responsible to people whose only claim to fame is - a mike / pen in hand using which they can write whatever they like. Rohit should play as much as possible, with a license to hit the way Sehwag had. He'll win some, lose some....Bradman, Lara, Sachin, Kallis, Javed Sehwag, Dravid et al, all of them won some & lost some. Nobody has ever won all.

  • Rohit... on October 4, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Sachin averages below 50 & has scored only 8 centuries from 78 innings... Guess what ??? All his critics has got a very good reason to throw him out of the team... Coming back to Rohit Sharma, this guy was already dug a grave for himself by comparing himself with Kohli .... Now he is scoring runs and giving strong starts....Yet people want him to score more even though India have Dhawan at the other end, and players like Kohli, Raina, Dhoni & Jadeja to enter...With Yuvraj set to make a return, Rohit must focus on anchoring the innings rather than digging a grave for himself by trying to get on the bowlers.

  • cenitin on October 4, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    See the Rohit stat year wise : 2013 16 16 2 580 83 41.42 845 68.63 2012 14 13 0 168 68 12.92 251 66.93 2011 16 16 5 611 95 55.54 739 82.67 2010 15 14 1 504 114 38.76 586 86.00 2009 9 7 3 102 43* 25.50 155 65.80 2008 28 28 7 532 70* 25.33 733 72.57 2007 4 3 0 61 52 20.33 74 82.43

    Clearly he was slow starter but picked up well after 2009. Since then has been doing good but had a horrid year in 2012 when he was totally out of form. I remember he was in very good form but didn't get chance in test and then he lost form in ODIs. Still from 2010-13 his overall Avg is 37 which is pretty good. And if you compare with other Indian team members in same period Raina having similar avg, Yuvi 34, Jadeja 32, DK 30, Sehwag 39. Also agree with many fans that Rohit should have been in test team in Oz tour only.

  • inswing on October 4, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    emceedrive got it right. Rohit is a natural Test player who is being paraded around and judged in ODI and T20s. It is shocking that he hasn't played a single Test so far. They couldn't find a slot for him when India lost 0-4 in Eng and then 0-4 in Aus. Let him play 10 Test matches, both inside and outside India, and see how he does.

  • CricketFanIndUS on October 4, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    Speaking of Rohit's temperament . . .

    His first class record for India Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 58 87 8 4802 309* 60.78 16 20

    add three double centuries and a triple century to this list, il est impressionnant Our first class cricket standards are good . .

  • Jaybats4u on October 4, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Unlike IPL, the competition for a place in the Indian team is huge. Rohit is a huge hit in IPL may be because he never worried about a place in the IPL team. Even though he got lot more opportunities than others in Indian team his place is always at risk and he knows that. Coming to his opening role and strike rate with the 2 white balls, I am not sure if you noticed similar strike rates from other teams in the last one year.

    Sometimes in cricket it is worth to watch few flamboyant shots than a boring long innings.

  • IndianCoolGuy on October 4, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Rohit is very talented but there are some ifs and buts. Positive talent:1#His timing is exceptional. He never hits the ball hard but can easily clears the boundary.2# He has many shots, & legends say that he can play one ball in 2 or 3 ways. 3# He reads the ball very early & has so much time to play a shot. Problems he has are:1# He lacks temperament.2# He looses his concentration early.3# confusion in choosing the type of shot as he has several shots. Reason he is successful in t20 is, there he has very less time to concentrate, almost every ball needs to be hit so no need of temperament. But when it comes to ODI & Tests, he needs concentration, and temperament and shot selection for building longer innings.These 3 skills are lacking so he is less successful. I suggest him for meditation every day and that could really help him. He should play test matches as well to improve this patience, concentration and temperament. I will be disappointed if such a talent gets wasted.

  • CricketFanIndUS on October 4, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    It is how your game fits the optimal way to pace your innings and optimal shot selection in each of the three formats of the game . . . . . Rohit will get even better and will do a lot for team India.

  • CricketFanIndUS on October 4, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    Rohit playing test cricket for India, now that is my dream (ok, one of my dreams). Personally, the anticipation for an India game on Television is twice as great when Rohit is in the team. I would get up at 4 am to watch him and I cannot say that I would do that too often for the other stars.

  • CricketFanIndUS on October 4, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Rohit has been great in terms of performance this calendar year. This article just looks at the stats, but one needs to round it out by looking at the other aspects. You need to look at how good he is in batting in foreign conditions, how well he cuts and pulls as an opener, how well he handles the quicks, the bouncy wickets and the short pitched balls, versatility, etc, etc. For some cricket fans the beauty of Rohit's batting some times is more important than cold facts in ODIs and would prefer seeing him to other equally performing batsmen in stats. Yes he has not made triple figures recently, but some of that is luck and he has been very consistent and reliable this year. If his striking ability is not good as this article points out, how come he has a strike rate of 130 in T20Is? It is how a batsman's game/stroke play/shot selection fits the optimal way to construct an innings in the three formats of the game. Kohli's game is a perfect fit for ODIs and Rohit will improvise.

  • tahamahadi on October 4, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Rohit is one of the best cricketers in this time. He can time the ball and strike it big. He hasn't performed outstandingly for india yet but he can and will very soon. I hope Rohit becomes the captain of India as he can be really awesome.

  • Former_SJCC on October 4, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    I dont think rohit believes in himself as an opener. if he did , he would make an effort to open the batting in the domestic games which could help him in the longer run. in any aspect of sports execution is much more important than just talent. in this regards rohit seems to have the uncanny ability to throw his wicket again umpteen times which may point to not just poor execution but fragile mental makeup.granted rohit has a lot of talent but somehow he gives the impression that his mindset is that of the indian cricket of the 80's and early 90's( the self doubting cricketer) who will grasp defeat from victory.

  • madras_boy on October 4, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    Rohit was a work in progress and will always be ! With the amount of opps he got, his stats were not great. Not sure who is backing him in the team still. He is going to fare poorly in his next series only to be named in another series !!!

  • CricketMaan on October 4, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    What about DK who has been shunted more up and down than Rohit!! Agreed DK is no Rohit, but i feel sad for him. The reason DK gets shunted is coz he is a keeper. What is the wisdom to drop him and retain Rayudu, although the latter too deserves a call. Rohit if he continues to play as opner has to show he can carry on and finish games. Most intrestingly he has had some success in Aus, so if he still wishes to open in 2015 WC, he better shows some higher consistency. Agreed the most difficult job is that of a ODI opener with 2 white balls and quality fast bowling. But some of the best ODI players have always opened, the list is long from SRT, Sanath, Saeed, Gilly, Haydos, Viru that list of illustrious openers. While Dhawan has shown glimpses, its only his first year and its always the second season that makes or breaks your career.

  • siddhartha87 on October 4, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    with all the stroke players around i think it's okay to stick to Rohit as an opener. he has opened in CLT and in west indies recently and those where challenging pitches. So his strike rate doe not bother me much.But there is no doubt that he will perform better at no 4 or 5. I think if Yuvi fails in next series again then Rohit should be dropped to no 4.Kohli,Raina and Rohit has the potential to be the pillars of Indian batting line up till 2023 wc.

  • vardhanrk on October 4, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    No doubt Rohit is a player to watch...and we are seeing a new ROHIT after filling the opening slot...problem with rohit is he is not opening his bat..and the positive thing is he is so consistent..and he overcomed it after getting into opening shoes.. as he is new to this role..and he takes more balls to settledown and then he frees his bat and unfortunately he will gets out...same thing happens to dhoni he takes more balls to settle and then he frees his bat but for sure he get runs by hitting boudaries in slog overs..and i ensure that Rohit will be fitted in the same manner as shane watson for AUS in all the formats...

  • on October 4, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    As a matter of fact Rohit Sharma is a versatile player because, he has a gifted technique which is probably better Kohli's... The difference though, is the conversion rate and consistency-two areas where Kohli beat Rohit hands down... Rohit had a great platform in the CB Series 2008 from where he could have easily become indispensable to the Indian team... However a pedestrian average meandering in the mid 30s and an equally worse strike rate in ODI cricket have strongly polarized opinion about his position... still hope that he does make use of the ample opportunities that Dhoni has been affording for him... remember his 109 of 60 balls at Kolkata in IPL 2012? that was as good an innings that you will ever see in T20s especially against the likes of Narine, Shakib and Lee on a difficult pitch...

  • Andre117 on October 4, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    I agree with emceedrive. How can a player with an FC average of 60 have 2500 ODI runs, but not a single test match? It's a travesty I say.

    South Africa did the same with Dale Benkenstein. He was touted to be Hansie Cronje's successor as test captain, but he never got a test match. The reason: he started in ODIs and did not perform. His FC average is 44, but OD average is 35. It looks like the same thing is happening with Quinton de Kock. FC average of 55 with a Strikerate of 85 and OD average of 29 and he's not performing in ODIs.... I say Quinton should play test cricket until he is settled down there (and he will be) then put back in the ODI squad.

  • balajik1968 on October 4, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    Rohit Sharma should have played Test cricket some time ago. However, he does not inspire confidence. Even in the ODI's he gets a start, gets to 50, and just when the time comes to get a move on, gets out. He has not played the big innings in ODI's (you can play big innings in ODI's). The logic about Tendulkar taking 4 years to mature does not wash. Sharma has played at a time when the others like Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Sehwag etc. were at their best. He had plenty of time to watch and learn. He did not pay attention to his fitness. At one point, Gary Kirsten, who is nearly 20 years older challenged him to a run. That's how roly poly he was. The fault was/is with Sharma. He needs to make every appearance at the crease count and count big. As long as he does'nt do this, he will join the list of cricketers about whom we wonder "what may have been".

  • on October 4, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    @ODI_BestFormOfCricket - what is suresh raina's test average????

  • Rock-Rock on October 4, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Rohit is very good in First Class matches and his ListA career is not impressive. That clearly shows he is a test match player. Why not give him that opportunity. Coming to ODIs, he was inconsistent for years and selectors decided to persist with him.Now at least he is consistent, so let him play. They are not many options for opening slot, either. Sehwag opting for middle order, Gambhir not in great form to force himself back into team and Murali Vijay always a mediocre performer in ODIs. Rohit is a proven talent in T20s in international, IPL and domestic level. He is a proven performer in longer version through his First Career stats. Let him play as opener in ODIs and give him a middle order chance in tests. Nobody will object about his place in T20s... so, No need to discuss in that aspect.

  • on October 4, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Rohit starts his innings slowly. But isn't that what every batsman does. Even the great MS dhoni starts off very slowly, but makes up for it by blasting till the end. Problem with rohit is that he doesn't go on to make big scores. But a very small part of this problem of poor conversion rate is also luck, where he was not out for 50 in tri-series, aswell as getting ball shooting low in the final. but stick with him as an opener, as really India has no one else to partner dhawan, apart from maybe vijay. Also in the triseries - would someone compare his strike rate with other batsman. Looks like Indians have found a suitable punching bag in Rohit like Pakistan has one in misbah. Also when u have hitters like dhoni, raina, kholi, dhawan, and rohit himself, last 20 overs this team is guaranteed to make 180-200 (as ball will lose its shine) provided they have wickets in hand. Also argument behind not backing his strokeplay:by starting slowly,isn't he backing himself to make up for it at end

  • Samar_Singh on October 4, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    So the stats also say that he is not the best of ODI player. Give him 100 more games to prove himself. Funny.

  • sreehk on October 4, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    Rohit Sharma is an ILLUSION. 102 ODIs, Avg of 32, strike rate of 75. What talent are we talking about here?? This article quite rightly raises questions on most aspects of Rohit's game and precisely questions his credibility in the playing 11 especially with so many quality players vying for a place. Do not understand who has what stakes for him to be in the team for his numbers. His position is not clear, his average not great, his strike rate is below par, has not played a convincing and single match winning innings. He is 26 years old now. If he has talent then he must be asked to prove for consistency. Compare that with Sehwag's average of 35 over 250 ODI, with a stupendous strike rate of 104, 15 centuries and some 100 wickets. Why drop SEHWAG? Sehwag doen't perform is an ILLUSION as well!!

  • SagarV45 on October 4, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    No doubt Rohit has under-performed in his carrier till date but its surprising to see the number of matches he played on Indian soil. Every Indian batsman enjoys playing at home and always plunders heavy runs here. But Rohit has played only 17 ODIs in last 6 yrs in India .whereas if u see the matches played by other 7 Indian players compared in this article, during the same period they have played 2-3 times more number matches than the Rohit played. In those 17 matches also he has avg. of 45.46 & Strike rate 84.30 which is very good in ODIs. In this period his average is more than Gambhir, Sehwag, raina and even kohli. Then many people will argue that he missed WC-2011 which was played in India, but then also see the number of Matches Rohit played before WC in India its only 9

  • on October 4, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    Why some are saying that Rohit is not meant for shorter formats and meant only for the longer formats? The similar allegations were made against Dravid also. But Dravid did make his mark in ODI too (though not in the same league of other Indian ODI batsmen) and was an integral part of the ODI team at one point of time.

    See the likes of Kohli and Dhoni also take time to settle down in ODI. But they don't give their wickets and after being well set they can score freely. So Rohit also should learn this. BTW Rohit scores freely in IPL where much less time is available to settle down making it really puzzling why he remains below par in ODI.

  • on October 4, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    I think before doling out the stats he simply needs time - Nobody gets to become a great player overnight. Give him time to settle into the opening slot and the runs will come.

    The fact that he is getting starts is a good sign. Eventually he will convert them into hundreds like all others did before him.

    Even SRT took 4 years of top international cricket to get his 1st ODI hundred.

    And yes he should play more tests. It is where his real ability / temperament will be shown. They should have played him in the Ind A matches. Hopefully he should get a knock sooner rather than later. But he has a tough spot to come into - When SRT goes it will be b/w rohit/ dinesh / Rahane and probably a couple of more names (not to mention yuvi/ raina)

    Tough call for a selector.

  • Sumeet.Gupta on October 4, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    Since eternity, I have been shouting it from the rooftop that Sharma is tailor-made for test cricket. Just look at his FC record and you will know the reason of my conviction (and of many others). His problem is that he is under too much pressure to perform in shorter formats and when he does not get runs there, he is ignored for the test matches as well. His wide range of shots, the extra fraction of a second that he has to play his strokes are all suited for test cricket. Unless and until he fails in test matches, I won't count him as a failure. If he is not selected for tests, it will be a travesty. A similar example is Badrinath, who should have been given opportunities in test matches. I hope the selectors don't make Sharma another Badrinath!

  • Aashir.B on October 4, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Whilst Rohit has been batting in the middle and lower order, Dhoni has always manipulated the order to suit himself; often at the expense of Rohit. ie. good batting pitch - Dhoni 4/5, Rohit 6, bad batting pitch - Rohit 4/5, Dhoni 6/7. Not only is there no stability, he was thrown in the deep end often. Now that he has a set position, I hope that he builds on his starts and does not try to match Dhawan's scoring rate and lose his wicket as a result. Impressive talent and definitely a player for all three formats. Rock on Rohit!!

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on October 4, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    @emceedrive Odi needs more skill sets than test, array of shots to maintain scoring rate throughout the innings than tests, where one can score 20 runs for 10 overs, just playing school book shots rarely is enough.

    According to your comments rohit lacks odi skill test but i dont think so he has more shots than many, his problem is concentration and temperment lol.

  • on October 4, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    IMO Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik both of them wasted their talents. Both are highly talented but never managed to dominate unlike the others like Dhawans, Kohlis. But somehow Rohit managed to shed the tag of scapegoat which fell on Karthik.

    I feel the problem with Rohit is dilemma. He doesn't know whether to attack or to anchor. As a result he faltered in both strike rates as well as average. He must take a leaf out of Kohli's book if he wants to succeed.

  • jimbond on October 4, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    Its a team game. If he fulfills his role by playing out the swing in the initial overs and is able to turn around the strike (he seems to be able to do it- as his runs are mostly made in singles in ODIs) it is good enough for the present. For the long term, I doubt though whether he is suited for the ODI format (Even Sehwag has a problem with ODIs). Rohit Sharma's approach seems to work well in the longer format (Ranjis for instance) and in T20s. Hence he should be tried out in tests and continue to be in T20s and gradually eased out of ODIs.

  • balajik1968 on October 4, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Interesting figures. If you look at these figures, Kohli, Gambhir, Raina and Dhoni have a boundary %age below 50 but have good strike rates. I think we should attribute this to their aggressive running between the wickets. There is a lesson for Rohit Sharma here.

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on October 4, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    rohit sharma is very lucky, he got more chances than any other batsmen ever. Finally after 85 odi matches, he STARTS performing since CT (last 15 odi's)at a rate below even to misbah, this clearly shows how medicore he is, but good thing is now he starts to perform consistently.

  • Rally_Windies on October 4, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    I will say it for about the 20th time on cricinfo ....

    why is a slow constructor of an innings , with a 1st class avg of nearly 60 , unable to make his Test Debut , and he is nearly 27 years old ?

    16 centuries is 86 innings?

    and the guy can't get 1 Test ?

    ?

    Really ? India ? Really ?

  • on October 4, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    The way he gets out is very frustrating. I hope he improves his consistency by converting his starts into 100s. 2 hundreds is a severe underachievement considering his talent.

  • on October 4, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    The way he gets out is very frustrating. I hope he improves his consistency by converting his starts into 100s. 2 hundreds is a severe underachievement considering his talent.

  • Rally_Windies on October 4, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    I will say it for about the 20th time on cricinfo ....

    why is a slow constructor of an innings , with a 1st class avg of nearly 60 , unable to make his Test Debut , and he is nearly 27 years old ?

    16 centuries is 86 innings?

    and the guy can't get 1 Test ?

    ?

    Really ? India ? Really ?

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on October 4, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    rohit sharma is very lucky, he got more chances than any other batsmen ever. Finally after 85 odi matches, he STARTS performing since CT (last 15 odi's)at a rate below even to misbah, this clearly shows how medicore he is, but good thing is now he starts to perform consistently.

  • balajik1968 on October 4, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Interesting figures. If you look at these figures, Kohli, Gambhir, Raina and Dhoni have a boundary %age below 50 but have good strike rates. I think we should attribute this to their aggressive running between the wickets. There is a lesson for Rohit Sharma here.

  • jimbond on October 4, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    Its a team game. If he fulfills his role by playing out the swing in the initial overs and is able to turn around the strike (he seems to be able to do it- as his runs are mostly made in singles in ODIs) it is good enough for the present. For the long term, I doubt though whether he is suited for the ODI format (Even Sehwag has a problem with ODIs). Rohit Sharma's approach seems to work well in the longer format (Ranjis for instance) and in T20s. Hence he should be tried out in tests and continue to be in T20s and gradually eased out of ODIs.

  • on October 4, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    IMO Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik both of them wasted their talents. Both are highly talented but never managed to dominate unlike the others like Dhawans, Kohlis. But somehow Rohit managed to shed the tag of scapegoat which fell on Karthik.

    I feel the problem with Rohit is dilemma. He doesn't know whether to attack or to anchor. As a result he faltered in both strike rates as well as average. He must take a leaf out of Kohli's book if he wants to succeed.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on October 4, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    @emceedrive Odi needs more skill sets than test, array of shots to maintain scoring rate throughout the innings than tests, where one can score 20 runs for 10 overs, just playing school book shots rarely is enough.

    According to your comments rohit lacks odi skill test but i dont think so he has more shots than many, his problem is concentration and temperment lol.

  • Aashir.B on October 4, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Whilst Rohit has been batting in the middle and lower order, Dhoni has always manipulated the order to suit himself; often at the expense of Rohit. ie. good batting pitch - Dhoni 4/5, Rohit 6, bad batting pitch - Rohit 4/5, Dhoni 6/7. Not only is there no stability, he was thrown in the deep end often. Now that he has a set position, I hope that he builds on his starts and does not try to match Dhawan's scoring rate and lose his wicket as a result. Impressive talent and definitely a player for all three formats. Rock on Rohit!!

  • Sumeet.Gupta on October 4, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    Since eternity, I have been shouting it from the rooftop that Sharma is tailor-made for test cricket. Just look at his FC record and you will know the reason of my conviction (and of many others). His problem is that he is under too much pressure to perform in shorter formats and when he does not get runs there, he is ignored for the test matches as well. His wide range of shots, the extra fraction of a second that he has to play his strokes are all suited for test cricket. Unless and until he fails in test matches, I won't count him as a failure. If he is not selected for tests, it will be a travesty. A similar example is Badrinath, who should have been given opportunities in test matches. I hope the selectors don't make Sharma another Badrinath!

  • on October 4, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    I think before doling out the stats he simply needs time - Nobody gets to become a great player overnight. Give him time to settle into the opening slot and the runs will come.

    The fact that he is getting starts is a good sign. Eventually he will convert them into hundreds like all others did before him.

    Even SRT took 4 years of top international cricket to get his 1st ODI hundred.

    And yes he should play more tests. It is where his real ability / temperament will be shown. They should have played him in the Ind A matches. Hopefully he should get a knock sooner rather than later. But he has a tough spot to come into - When SRT goes it will be b/w rohit/ dinesh / Rahane and probably a couple of more names (not to mention yuvi/ raina)

    Tough call for a selector.