Sri Lanka v India, 4th ODI, Colombo July 31, 2012

Rohit's agony and India's strange stat

Plays of the day from the fourth ODI between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo
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Rohit's moment of agony
Rohit Sharma was under pressure with scores of 5, 0 and 0 in the series, and he batted like a man under pressure. He took ten deliveries to get off the mark and fell leg-before off his 14th. The moment he was struck on the pad, he waited, dreading that the umpire's finger would go up, hoping that it wouldn't. When it did, Rohit stood still at the crease, contemplating another failure, before he started to trudge off in disappointment, only to be stopped by the square-leg umpire, who asked him to wait till they checked whether it was a no-ball. Rohit stopped, hoping again, only to be dealt a second, final blow when he was informed it was a legal delivery.

The stat
Legspinner dropped to replace long-benched batsman who could have replaced repeatedly struggling batsman. How would India deal with playing only four bowlers after choosing to play both Rohit and Manoj Tiwary? By over-bowling their part-timers, and over-bowling them successfully. At one stage, R Ashwin, the specialist offspinner, Tiwary, the part-time legspinner, and Sehwag, the part-time offspinner, had remarkably similar figures: 7-0-31-0, 7-1-31-1, and 7-1-31-2.

The catch
Sachithra Senanayake, the offspinner, hasn't played a game this series, but he probably dropped the third ODI when, as a substitute, he put down Man-of-the-Match Suresh Raina at extra cover at a tight moment during India's chase. Today, Virender Sehwag, who came out crashing boundaries, got a leading edge towards short cover, where Senanayake was fielding. This one was much a tougher chance, but Senanayake dived, completed it and turned around to face the dressing room with arms aloft.

The fortunate five
Suresh Raina could have been dismissed several times early in his innings. During one such instance, he was almost at Virat Kohli's end but escaped being run out. He was dropped on 19 by Senanayake in the third game, today he was put down on the same score by Mahela Jayawardene. In the next over, the 34th, he pushed one to the off side and set off for a risky single. Had the throw hit, Raina would have been out by some distance. As it turned out, not only did he survive, he also got four extra runs as the throw missed the stumps and sped to the deep midwicket boundary.

The stroke
Towards the end of the game, Kohli toyed with the Sri Lanka bowling, cracking eight boundaries off his final 16 legal deliveries. One of those shots showed what kind of form he is in at the moment: Lasith Malinga slung in a very full delivery, right onto the stumps. It was not quite a yorker, but Kohli's response was as though he had spotted a harmless full toss. He opened up slightly, got his feet out of the way to make room for the bat swing, and timed the ball to the square-leg boundary.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • VinodGupte on August 2, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    i want to meet all those people and ask them personally what they mean when they say they see a lot of talent in rohit sharma. it appears that one commentator said that when he was feeling particularly generous and everyone just copied him. his performance at the international level is ample proof of his "talent". sack him and give as many chances to someone like rahane and tiwary and see the difference. enough of this tomfoolery.

  • subbuamdavadi on August 2, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Since we treat cricket as a 'business', and we all agree that this is a highly competitive world, where success comes to the ablest, fittest and the most hunger, does it make sense to keep on giving chances to someone, who in spite of his obvious talents (which none else can see!) has not yet delivered? Why do we Indians, put so much stress on TALENT? Why don't we focus on DELIVERY? In management, results are what matter - not your potential. A workhorse, who delivers consistently, should be preferred over a flashy, flamboyant once-in-a-blue-moon category of performer.

  • on August 2, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    ok guys dhoni and top indian players think he is the future , lets give respect to the senior players . I got upset all the time when rohit got out on 5,0,0,4.but then also senior players are supporting him.If they belive he is the future we have to listen to them because they know cricket more than us they play onthe field under pressure.lets wait for senior players and dhoni to decide.rohit has the potential but not delivering .If he starts then he,virat and raina will be middle orderin world cricket.thats what India needs to achieve high.Rohit is under pressure ,a good performance is going to come from his side.wish Indian team to get no.1 in ranking

  • on August 2, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    Rohit indeed has Amazing Talent. He looks Awesome when he plays and makes batting look extremely easy. His performance in IPL has been excellent and he has won many matches on his own.

    Why he doesn't perform same for India? What is he missing ODIs - money, pressure or will? Does he really have the same commitment to play for India? Is it possible that he doesn't care enough to play for India and is perfectly content earning $2M by playing 3 months of IPL and CL?

    I am not saying this is the case. Only Rohit can truly answer this. However, if he wants to focus on IPL and CL alone, perhaps, captain, selectors and other shouldn't force him in playing ODIs and tests.

  • Pacelikefire_Samrat on August 2, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    Such a thing happens only in India.Had Rohit been an Aussie he would have been dropped immediately and would have been sent to the domestic circuit to hone his skills.Bet every cricketer wants to be in Rohit's shoes,so that he can use all ODI;s as warm up matches,till the match comes when he makes a 50 and prove people that he is good enough.What a farce.I cant quite understand what Dhoni is trying to prove,earlier we had,"cant bat,cant bowl" Ravindra Jadeja being touted as the best all rounder around.Dhoni ignored Irfan at his own peril.Wake up Dhoni,Drop Rohit and give other promising cricketers a chance.

  • on August 1, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    I really cant understand why everyone going gaga over Mr Rohit Sharma's talent...i mean where have they seen his talent???? In Indian Domestic Circuit??? That's a no place to judge anyone's talent....think think about what Legendary Rahul Dravid said about the talent and you will find nothing in Rohit....better drop him n forget him..he is good for nothing

  • on August 1, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    Gone was the time he played for deccan chargers, delievering wat t tem needed in a rock solid way....now he is just a burden on the team..

  • on August 1, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    Maybe Rohit's bad form is a blessing in disguise. We might see Yuvraj soon. ;)

  • Cric_Tic on August 1, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    in comes RO-HIT... crowd shout..GO-HIT.. oops..there comes NO-HIT

  • on August 1, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Whether the "emperor" has no clothes or he is wearing the fanciest regal paraphernalia depends on how Dhoni feels about the guy. Relieved to see that Dhoni changed his tinted glares to look at Irfan, at least in this series. Now, it is up to Irfan NOT to let Dhoni change the glasses, back to the tinted one (specially tinted NOT to see Irfan'a potential (and performance).

  • VinodGupte on August 2, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    i want to meet all those people and ask them personally what they mean when they say they see a lot of talent in rohit sharma. it appears that one commentator said that when he was feeling particularly generous and everyone just copied him. his performance at the international level is ample proof of his "talent". sack him and give as many chances to someone like rahane and tiwary and see the difference. enough of this tomfoolery.

  • subbuamdavadi on August 2, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Since we treat cricket as a 'business', and we all agree that this is a highly competitive world, where success comes to the ablest, fittest and the most hunger, does it make sense to keep on giving chances to someone, who in spite of his obvious talents (which none else can see!) has not yet delivered? Why do we Indians, put so much stress on TALENT? Why don't we focus on DELIVERY? In management, results are what matter - not your potential. A workhorse, who delivers consistently, should be preferred over a flashy, flamboyant once-in-a-blue-moon category of performer.

  • on August 2, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    ok guys dhoni and top indian players think he is the future , lets give respect to the senior players . I got upset all the time when rohit got out on 5,0,0,4.but then also senior players are supporting him.If they belive he is the future we have to listen to them because they know cricket more than us they play onthe field under pressure.lets wait for senior players and dhoni to decide.rohit has the potential but not delivering .If he starts then he,virat and raina will be middle orderin world cricket.thats what India needs to achieve high.Rohit is under pressure ,a good performance is going to come from his side.wish Indian team to get no.1 in ranking

  • on August 2, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    Rohit indeed has Amazing Talent. He looks Awesome when he plays and makes batting look extremely easy. His performance in IPL has been excellent and he has won many matches on his own.

    Why he doesn't perform same for India? What is he missing ODIs - money, pressure or will? Does he really have the same commitment to play for India? Is it possible that he doesn't care enough to play for India and is perfectly content earning $2M by playing 3 months of IPL and CL?

    I am not saying this is the case. Only Rohit can truly answer this. However, if he wants to focus on IPL and CL alone, perhaps, captain, selectors and other shouldn't force him in playing ODIs and tests.

  • Pacelikefire_Samrat on August 2, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    Such a thing happens only in India.Had Rohit been an Aussie he would have been dropped immediately and would have been sent to the domestic circuit to hone his skills.Bet every cricketer wants to be in Rohit's shoes,so that he can use all ODI;s as warm up matches,till the match comes when he makes a 50 and prove people that he is good enough.What a farce.I cant quite understand what Dhoni is trying to prove,earlier we had,"cant bat,cant bowl" Ravindra Jadeja being touted as the best all rounder around.Dhoni ignored Irfan at his own peril.Wake up Dhoni,Drop Rohit and give other promising cricketers a chance.

  • on August 1, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    I really cant understand why everyone going gaga over Mr Rohit Sharma's talent...i mean where have they seen his talent???? In Indian Domestic Circuit??? That's a no place to judge anyone's talent....think think about what Legendary Rahul Dravid said about the talent and you will find nothing in Rohit....better drop him n forget him..he is good for nothing

  • on August 1, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    Gone was the time he played for deccan chargers, delievering wat t tem needed in a rock solid way....now he is just a burden on the team..

  • on August 1, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    Maybe Rohit's bad form is a blessing in disguise. We might see Yuvraj soon. ;)

  • Cric_Tic on August 1, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    in comes RO-HIT... crowd shout..GO-HIT.. oops..there comes NO-HIT

  • on August 1, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Whether the "emperor" has no clothes or he is wearing the fanciest regal paraphernalia depends on how Dhoni feels about the guy. Relieved to see that Dhoni changed his tinted glares to look at Irfan, at least in this series. Now, it is up to Irfan NOT to let Dhoni change the glasses, back to the tinted one (specially tinted NOT to see Irfan'a potential (and performance).

  • Cric_Tic on August 1, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    Jadeja & Rohit has let his captain down. normally captain picks a person who is struggling thinking he has talent and the mental makeup to bounce back. but Captain has a objective at hand..to Win. these two players has got enough chances. surely Dhoni will scout for other players to fill the gap.

  • nair248 on August 1, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    ok..lets give a last chance for rohit in 5 odi.Only if he make a classy 80+ or a struggling 120+ he will get an another chance in t20.

  • on August 1, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    As one of the posts suggested, Rohit Shrama should be found opportunities to play in the domestic cricket of England or Australia, to sharpen his skills AND mental make-up. Sending him back to Indian domestic cricket will only provide FALSE sense of self-confidence.

  • AMAZINGFAN on August 1, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    @slgirl,so for u ind didn't played good game but still ended up thrashing ur side.so what will happen when ind play good game?

  • Alexk400 on August 1, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    if rohit sharma can't play in sub continent conditions how he gona withstand foreign pitches with more bounce? I think rohit sharma is done but he has many godfathers in BCCI they will keep giving him chances. Some people like aesthetic more than pure production value. Kohli batting do not have aesthetic but he fights mentally and physically. He gives it all. For some people everything spoonfed and become spoilt child. Thats the case of rohit sharma. I think indian teamm need to give 1 spot to under 19 player. Its a must for whole indian population to see some youngster gets a chance and show case his skill...

  • ssenthil on August 1, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    @ true_cricket_fan, Why there is ni chance he wouldn't have given 31 runs even after bowling tht Maiden over? Since Both M Tiwary and V Sehwag had done the same, I said tht

  • Harishonthemic on August 1, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    @SLGirl: got only one line for you. "Don't cry over spilt milk."

  • on August 1, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    All are talking about Badrinath, Karthik and Vijay got many chances. Tell me how many chances did Badri get? It was Rohit Sharma who has got chances more than he deserved. Infact he could be the only player to have got these many number of chances even though he failed continuously to deliver. Its he gets out of the team and play domestic cricket and then think about international cricket. If the team management feels Manoj has not delivered, they have to check he played his last one day last year. It was a good innings what he played yesterday under pressure.

  • Thyagu5432 on August 1, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    @Varun_R123: May be you are right, he has only got a few chances. However, what is fresh in my mind is the way he played in that series in WI. That was quite pathetic. Failure is one thing but to bat like a novice is a completely different thing. Badri in WI looked just that, a novice.

  • satish619chandar on August 1, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    It is the same with Dhoni.. He usually picks players with good amount of confidence on them.. Dinesh karthik, Parthiv, Munaf, Nehra, Vijay, Yusuf and the best of the lot in RJ the list goes on.. Now Rohit is in that stage where he might be really pushed out sooner than later.. Some guys don't get such a allowance like Badrinath, Irfan and Tiwary get lesser chances.. It all comes down to the faith of the captain on certain players.. it usually happens..

  • on August 1, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Team management must ask Rohit Sharma to play domestic cricket.. Get in form and then return to ODI/T20 team... I think, the team management is having high hopes on Rohit Sharma for Next ODI world cup... That is why he is being given multiple chances..

  • Philippe on August 1, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    Literally Kohli & Raina toyed with bowling of SL yesterday.. in second half of their innings they easily made runs & getting boundaries.. SL team were nowhere in whole game.. India's part timers clicked & they batted well apart from the second match of the series.. Mahela has to improve his captaincy.. He has to bring more aggression.. quoting about the caliber of the players unnecessarily won't work for Mahela more.. I think overdose of cricket has affected SL team.. they need rest.. all the players like Mahela, Dilshan even sanga look rusty.. although sanga plays well most of the times but they need rest for month or 2..

  • Varun_R123 on August 1, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    @ Thyagu5432 - Can you explain me how many chances did Badrinath get. Anything other than the five match ODI series against WI. ??? For all the runs he scored in domestic level, he deserves more.

  • neerajprasher on August 1, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    Moral of the story is need Rohit out of the indian team.then it'll make easy to pick another player.

  • Thyagu5432 on August 1, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    It is not just Rohit, we had Murali Vijay, Badrinath, Dinesh Karthik all getting tons of chances and not making use of them well. What separates great players from ordinary ones is the great ones grab their chances with both their hands. From that point of view, Rohit is an ordinary player. I dont think he deserves any more discussions. Bring on a Rehane or a Pujara or a Tiwary, let us see if they are bound to be great ones.

  • Haleos on August 1, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    They should have rested/dropped Ashwin. He is such a liability in the field. He moves with the agility of a turtle at such a young age.

  • true_cricket_fan on August 1, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    @ssenthil if Ashwin had bowled a maiden over before then it wouldn't be exact 31 runs in his account :)

  • krik8crazy on August 1, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    Is it temperament or technical glitches that need to be ironed out? I hope Fletcher helps Rohit overcome whatever it is that is preventing him from playing to his potential. I would give him a few more matches to sort out his issues.

  • on August 1, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    congradz to all the indian fans - team india really outplayed the lions... i think kohli is becoming more than a great batsman he is a match winner. i could remember how sachin used to win matches single handedly in the era of mohameed azarudeen's captaincy. kohli is simply made of the same material. sl need to open the batting with mahela and let tharanga play as a middle order batsman competing with thirimanne for the no6 spot who ever could do the job better shall fill in the place. we are wasting the skills of thisara perera..... remember sanath jayasuriya played 79innings before he was promoted as an opener. how many matches will thisara need to be prometed atleast to play at no3 or 4 ? anyway your openers are not making centuries so y not send him up the order or at no3??? mY batting order shall be>> 1mahela2dilly3perera4sanga5chandimal6mathews 7 lahiru/upul 8jeewan 9malinga 10 pradeep 11 kulasekara if he is fit or a good quality off spinner

  • Yarms on August 1, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    On Rohit - luck, judgement call it waht you want - I think he needs to "harden" his techinque and his mental attitude by plaing in England / Australia for a couple of years so that his foot work is not sluggish in conditions that the ball swings and seams - For India's sake and his - I really want to see him succeed because I think he is pure class - Playing Ranji cricket for a couple of years will just provide false confidence and he will make a pile of runs on flat tracks and come up to the top level and perhaps fail again. When I see Rohit walk to the wicket there is no determination in his eyes like virat, or Suresh or Dohni. When you think about Virats "spark" it really came with his 75odd runs in one of the testes down under.. This is what provided his the momuntum and self belief that he deserves to be up there which he is now proving consistantly.

  • RamIndie on August 1, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    I think Rohit's fate, like R Jadeja, will be decided by One Man Dhoni Saab. It is likely that Dhoni is under more pressure than Rohit.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on August 1, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    @SLGirl. So, India won 7 out of 8 matches since WC because of luck?? Why do not you try some black magic to get the luck for your team?? If your players drop chances, that shows your inability not the luck! Luck is what Sangakkara got in the 3rd game where he escaped the run-out even if his bat was in line. better 'luck' next time.:P

  • on August 1, 2012, 1:23 GMT

    Sehwag should come two down and let Rahane open with Gambhir. Rohit needs to play tests, not ODI.

  • SanjivAwesome on July 31, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    Nohit Sharma should now be put into the chiller until he gets warmed up for playing in the big league. Nite-nite and here is your bottle.

  • praveen4honestremark on July 31, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    Rohit need to be rested. He need to be told that go and play Ranji trophy and improve your batting and come back. We will be take you in playing 11 if you played well there; if not only in playing 15.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on July 31, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    Nohit errrmmm...Rohit Sharma should be shown the door. Rayudu should take his place.

  • Azweer on July 31, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    Dont drop Rohit.... Rest him.... thats the right words to use to not to drop his confidence level

  • ssenthil on July 31, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    Ashwin Figure was 7-0-31-1 not 7-0-31-0. That was great co-incidence. 7 overs and 31 runs conceded and at least a wicket. Had Ashwin bowled a Maiden over before, that would have been even great ;-)

  • SLMaster on July 31, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    The difference is the luck. Rohit wasn't lucky like Raina throughout the series. Even a legitimate faint edge of Raina wasn't given. Kholi also had bit of luck. He could have been LBW. If it is not Raina's luck India would be struggling. India still not playing a good game. It is the luck riding them.

  • on July 31, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    Kohli is great in ODI at 3, Sachin at 1 or 2, Dhoni at 4,Raina at 6, Rohit may start as opener at 1 or 2 as inning begginer not carrier or backup.

  • Temuzin on July 31, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    Yeah you did notice Emperor Nohit Sharmas agony, but you could not see fans agony who are forced to endure pathetic Nohit Sharma time and again, that too when more talented batsmen are waiting in the wings for chances.

  • PD_Googly on July 31, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    I was a big fan of Rohit and really want him to do well, as he has that talent. Rohit should listen to what Sajnay Manjarekar commented other day - When Rohit walks in to bat hit footwork is very sluggish and he appears very lazy (not alert and active like Virat Kohli). If he shows up prepared for batting like Gambhir, Virat he has a better chance of building a long innings otherwise his fate is sealed.

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  • PD_Googly on July 31, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    I was a big fan of Rohit and really want him to do well, as he has that talent. Rohit should listen to what Sajnay Manjarekar commented other day - When Rohit walks in to bat hit footwork is very sluggish and he appears very lazy (not alert and active like Virat Kohli). If he shows up prepared for batting like Gambhir, Virat he has a better chance of building a long innings otherwise his fate is sealed.

  • Temuzin on July 31, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    Yeah you did notice Emperor Nohit Sharmas agony, but you could not see fans agony who are forced to endure pathetic Nohit Sharma time and again, that too when more talented batsmen are waiting in the wings for chances.

  • on July 31, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    Kohli is great in ODI at 3, Sachin at 1 or 2, Dhoni at 4,Raina at 6, Rohit may start as opener at 1 or 2 as inning begginer not carrier or backup.

  • SLMaster on July 31, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    The difference is the luck. Rohit wasn't lucky like Raina throughout the series. Even a legitimate faint edge of Raina wasn't given. Kholi also had bit of luck. He could have been LBW. If it is not Raina's luck India would be struggling. India still not playing a good game. It is the luck riding them.

  • ssenthil on July 31, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    Ashwin Figure was 7-0-31-1 not 7-0-31-0. That was great co-incidence. 7 overs and 31 runs conceded and at least a wicket. Had Ashwin bowled a Maiden over before, that would have been even great ;-)

  • Azweer on July 31, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    Dont drop Rohit.... Rest him.... thats the right words to use to not to drop his confidence level

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on July 31, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    Nohit errrmmm...Rohit Sharma should be shown the door. Rayudu should take his place.

  • praveen4honestremark on July 31, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    Rohit need to be rested. He need to be told that go and play Ranji trophy and improve your batting and come back. We will be take you in playing 11 if you played well there; if not only in playing 15.

  • SanjivAwesome on July 31, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    Nohit Sharma should now be put into the chiller until he gets warmed up for playing in the big league. Nite-nite and here is your bottle.

  • on August 1, 2012, 1:23 GMT

    Sehwag should come two down and let Rahane open with Gambhir. Rohit needs to play tests, not ODI.