Former Australia spinner Brad Hogg has opined that India opener Rohit Sharma is a phenomenal batsman and despite his ongoing low series of scores in Test cricket, he doesn’t see him getting dropped from the team ahead of the second Test against England to be played in Chennai from February 13.
The right-hander has struggled to convert starts into big scores, ever since he started opening the innings for the Indian team against South Africa in 2019 and starting with a blast. Rohit Sharma had scored centuries in each innings in his debut as an opener in Tests against South Africa and also scored a big century in the same series.
However, he has only been able to score a solitary fifty in his last seven innings in the longest format and this has given fire to the argument whether Mayank Agarwal should replace the 33-year-old in the upcoming second Test against England.
Don’t Write Rohit Sharma Off Yet: Brad Hogg
Brad Hogg, speaking on his YouTube channel, mentioned that Rohit Sharma had a bumper 2019 home season as an India opener and he is too good a batsman to continue failing for the long term. The 49-year-old feels one cannot keep Rohit down for longer.
“No, I don’t see him (Rohit Sharma) being dropped. Remember against South Africa off late he just scored three hundreds and one of those a double hundred. He is a phenomenal batsman. Don’t write him off yet, I am expecting a big score in the second Test match from him,” Brad Hogg said.
Brad Hogg also indicated how Rohit Sharma can stop his woeful run of form and how he can counter the likes of Jofra Archer and James Anderson in the second Test in Chennai. Hogg mentioned that Rohit tends to play the ball away from his body, which led to his dismissal in the first innings, falling to Jofra Archer.
Rohit Sharma must learn to leave balls outside off-stump: Brad Hogg
Brad Hogg believes the only chink in Rohit Sharma’s armour is that he is found a bit wanting while playing the ball just outside off-stump. This coupled with Jofra Archer’s pace and James Anderson’s swing has troubled the Mumbaikar in the first Test match. The 49-year-old former chinaman felt that Rohit Sharma needs to show patience at the start and wait for the shine of the ball to wear off.
“The only issue I have with Rohit Sharma is that they (England) have a very good pace attack against his technique. He does play away from his body. Anderson swings the ball away, but Jofra Archer also gets the movement but with extra bounce and pace. Sharma has got to learn to leave the ball outside off-stump,” Brad Hogg stated.
Hogg further suggested Rohit Sharma tweak his footwork against the spinner a bit after he fell to Jack Leach in the second innings of the first Test in Chennai. He did defend his dismissal saying that Leach’s delivery was a brilliant one to receive and Rohit could do nothing about it. He also said Rohit Sharma will need to step up and prove that he has what it takes to be a successful Test opener.
“In the second innings, he just got an absolute beauty from Jack Leach, very unplayable delivery. But against the left-arm off-spinner, he has got to have better footwork as well. He is just a bit lazy sometimes,” he further added.
The second Test between India and England begins in Chennai on February 13, 2021.