Rohit Sharma should not change natural game while opening: Laxman

One India

One India

Author 2019-09-28 17:34:00


New Delhi, September 28: Rohit Sharma might have got out for a duck in the practice game against South Africa at Vizianagaram on Saturday (September 28) but former India batsman VVS Laxman, who is no stranger to open the innings, said Rohit has it in him to open the innings and advised him to stick to his natural game.

Rohit will open the innings against South Africa in the upcoming three-match series.


1. Rohit has advantage: Laxman

Laxman was one of the earlier examples in Indian cricket, who was forced to open the innings between 1996-98 despite being a specialist middle-order batsman, a role he never felt comfortable with. "The biggest advantage Rohit has is his experience, which I didn't had. I opened in Test cricket only after playing four Tests. Rohit has played 12 years of international cricket. So, he has the maturity and the experience and also in good form," Laxman told former India cricketer Deep Dasgupta, during a chat on the latter's YouTube channel "Deep Point".


2. Don't change technique: Laxman tells Rohit

Laxman, who himself being a touch player, could relate with Rohit's situation. "I believe the mistake that I made while opening the innings was to change my mindset, which got me a lot of success as a middle-order batsman," said the 44-year-old, who scored 8781 runs in 134 Tests.

"I also tried to change my technique. As a middle-order batsman, I was always having a front press (front-foot trigger) and then go towards the ball, whereas talking to seniors and coaches, I went back and across as I had to face Curtly Ambrose (97-away series against West Indies), who would generate steep bounce from length. This huge change in approach affected my batting and I hope Rohit wouldn't do it," Laxman said.

"If you tweak your natural game too much, then you will not get the results as your mind gets cluttered and you tend to lose your rhythm. I can admit that my flow was affected when I opened. Rohit is a rhythm-based player and if his touch gets affected, then it will be difficult," Laxman said.


3. Grab chance: Laxman's word for Rohit

"He will get three Tests and it's not often that a selection committee shows so much faith in a player and guarantee that he will open in three games. Rohit wants to play Test cricket and with Ajinkya (Rahane) and (Hanuma) Vihari at No. 5 and 6, Rohit knows that his chance to do well is as an opener. He should take this positively. He has nothing to lose. For a class player like him, it is better than sitting on the bench. He has to be in that playing XI," said Laxman.


4. Exploit the inexperience of SA

The SA attack save Kagiso Rabada doesn't have a lot of experience in their attack and opening will give Rohit time to play big knocks, Laxman said. "The SA attack is thin on experience on these tracks and for me, only Rabada is a wicket-taking option. The bowling lacks penetration and if he can get set, he can score a double hundred also. He will have more chance of big scores than batting No. 6," he said.


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