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World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma can afford to play the accumulator role and score big hundreds, says Sanjay Bangar


Rohit Sharma can afford to take his time at the top of the order and return to the ‘accumulator role’ rather than going after the bowlers at the top, according to former India all-rounder and ex-batting coach Sanjay Bangar. Bangar said he understood why Rohit has adopted a more aggressive approach in the recent past but urged the skipper to take his time and get the daddy hundreds that he is known for.

The India skipper, who has hit 3 hundreds in ODI cricket, has been in good touch leading into the World Cup. Rohit got into rhythm at the Asia Cup, hitting 3 successive fifties before smashing an aggressive 57-ball 81 in India’s failed chase of 353 against Australia in an ODI in Rajkot last month.

Rohit has traditionally taken his time at the start, especially when he played those daddy hundreds in ODIs. Rohit hit 27 hundreds, which included 3 double hundreds, before the 2019 World Cup, averaging 48.91 and had a strike rate of 88.65. Since then, he has managed just 3 hundreds in ODIs. Rohit has gone past the 150-run mark only once since the last World Cup where he hit 5 hundreds. His 159 came against the West Indies in Visakhapatnam and the skipper has scored only one century since the start of 2021.

WORLD CUP 2023: FULL COVERAGE

Rohit has been the more aggressive partner in his opening stands with young Shubman Gill, who has been happy to take his time and then go after the bowlers.

“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,” Bangar told Star Sports in response to a question from India Today.

“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 templateâ€æ 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,” he added.

Rohit acknowledged that his intent to go aggressive at the top has led to a dip in average but that it was a conscious decision on his part, considering the need for firepower throughout modern-day ODI innings.

”Everyone wants to bat long and score those 150s and 170s. I still want to do that, but it is always nice to do something that you have not done. It only adds up in your list of batting abilities. Unless you do it, you won’t know it.

”I know if I play high-risk shots, I will get out few times but I didn’t bother. This was communicated by me to the management that this is how I want to play.”

Rohit-led India will face the Netherlands in their second warm-up match of World Cup on Tuesday in Thiruvananthapuram before they take on Australia in their opening match in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Published On:

Oct 2, 2023

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