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Stats: The need for consistency from Rohit Sharma while batting first in T20Is

Rohit Sharma top-scored in India's only two T20I wins while batting first in the last one year.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

If Rohit Sharma bats through the Indian innings in ODI cricket, more often than not, he ends up powering India to a comfortable win. The statement holds true even when it comes to T20Is and Rohit can do enough for an Indian win if he lasts 10-15 overs in this format. His record in the recent past says the same as the limited-overs vice-captain hit only nine fifty-plus scores in 36 T20I innings since the start of 2017; but all of them resulting in Indian wins.

India’s outdated approach with the bat in T20I cricket has been costing them for a while now. India has rarely won matches while batting first in this format and an example of the same was seen during the Delhi T20I against Bangladesh. In the last 20 months, India batted first in 11 matches and won as few as five games. Rohit Sharma played in five of those six defeats and was dismissed for a single-digit score in all those matches.

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Interestingly, in the five T20Is that India won batting first in this period, Rohit scored an unbeaten century and three fifties including two 80+ scores. He bagged a duck in the game against Ireland where he batted at No.4. Since the start of 2017, India lost 11 T20Is in which Rohit played and the Indian opener was dismissed for a single digit on ten occasions. During the same period, India won 25 matches and Rohit Sharma struck three tons and six fifties. He was dismissed for scores under 25 on 14 other instances.

Majority of Rohit Sharma’s big knocks in T20Is can be cut down to two halves. In the first half, Rohit takes his time to get used to conditions before unleashing the beast inside him. Most of the players in the current Indian line-up start off slowly but get dismissed putting the team in a spot of bother before covering up for the slow start. Rohit, on the other hand, ensures he shifts the gears 8/10 times on an average after getting a good start. This calls for improvement in Rohit’s consistency while batting first.

Going into the next year’s World Cup, India lack tested alternatives barring Rohit and Virat Kohli in the batting line-up. Hence, India needs Rohit Sharma to strike big more often at least while batting first. While chasing, Kohli holds the key as he is averaging 74.5 in ten T20I chases since 2017 where he scored five fifties. However, while batting first in this period, Kohli scored only one fifty in 16 innings at an average of 24.71.

Rohit Sharma’s performance when India bats first in T20Is:

(Stats as on November 6, 2019)

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