Rohit Sharma is a match-winner but yet to crack the code in Test cricket: Ramiz Raja

Rohit Sharma is a match-winner but yet to crack the code in Test cricket: Ramiz Raja

In overseas Tests, Rohit averages a mere 27 from 20 matches with his overall average being 46.69.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Cricketer-turned commentator Ramiz Raja has lavished praise on India opener Rohit Sharma stating he is very elegant to watch however, the former Pakistan captain also felt that Sharma has not exactly blossomed in the purest format yet.

India’s white-ball vice-captain though has a chance to perform well especially abroad when India plays six Tests which includes a World Test Championship final (WTC) and the preceding five-match Test series.

In fact, the 34-year-old will open for the first time in England in the marquee clash against New Zealand which I set to begin on June 18. This will certainly be his acid test as performances on testing conditions in this part of the world will tell if Sharma has the potential to score overseas as well.

Virat Kohli too was found wanting the first time he toured England in 2014 but bounced back in style four years later when he scored more than 600 runs in the five-match Test series.

In an interview with India TV, Raja expressed that Sharma has to bide time and display patience in the bowling-friendly conditions in England. “Rohit is a match-winner. He’s my favourite player, as there are only a few players left in the circuit who are aesthetically pleasing. Devon Conway also scored a double century recently, but one won’t give money to watch him bat.

“Rohit, on the other hand, is a treat to watch. Once he settles in the middle, he goes on to record hefty innings. He only has to improve his footwork a bit against the new ball. In English conditions, it’s tough to deliver straight away, and it’ll be a challenge for him,” Raja stated.

Rohit Sharma’s acid test against testing conditions in England

Raja is surprised by the 34-year-old’s record in Test cricket as for now as he has not scored any hundreds aboard yet. The former Pakistan captain felt that the same is due to Sharma not cashing in on the good starts and throwing his wicket away when set.

“Rohit Sharma hasn’t yet cracked the code in Test cricket. Based on the talent he’s got, I had predicted that he’ll become a legend in Tests. He has to spend a bit more time at the crease. Great players adjust according to conditions, and Rohit will look to spend some more time in the middle. You occupy the crease, and you will get runs. That has been the rule since the 1930s,” he added.

Sharma along with Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal are India’s potential openers for the WTC final and the five-match Test series against England.