'Keep Rohit's IPL form side. He was out of form last year as well': Manjrekar's colossal 'WTC Final' statement

Jun 02, 2023 08:19 AM IST

Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar spoke in detail about concerns relating to Rohit Sharma's form ahead of WTC Final.

Team India returns to action on June 7 when the side takes on Australia in the final of the World Test Championship. The Rohit Sharma-led side will be aiming to move past the disappointment of 2021 when India – under Virat Kohli's captaincy – endured a loss to New Zealand in the inaugural edition of the WTC. This year, however, there's another major concern for the side going into the final; the form of their skipper Rohit.

Rohit Sharma(BCCI)
Rohit Sharma(BCCI)

The 36-year-old star opener has had a disappointing 2023 Indian Premier League campaign; while he did steer the Mumbai Indians into playoffs, Rohit's performances with the bat left much to be desired. In 16 matches for the side, Rohit scored 332 runs at a poor average of 20.75, and a strike rate of 132.80.

Also read: Hayden delivers blistering take on India's ICC title drought before WTC final, drops huge prediction on IPL superstar

However, former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar believes the team management shouldn't be fretting over Rohit's form, insisting that the opener finds comfort in Test cricket.

“Keep his IPL form aside because he looked out of form in the last IPL as well… we saw the amazing batting he did in the first Test match against Australia. I believe the stage of his career Rohit Sharma is in, Test cricket seems to be the most exciting format for him just like it has always been for Virat Kohli,” Manjrekar told Star Sports.

“His batting has become almost faultless in Test cricket at the moment. There is just one problem we have seen in Test matches - he gets out while playing the pull shot at times. They have bowled him a short ball and kept a fielder there. That is an instinctive shot.”

Manjrekar, then, went on to explain how Rohit uses his follow-through to power his pull shot.

“If you see in ODI cricket, his pull shot is extremely interesting. His back lift doesn't come from the top, so that he can play the ball down. He has a very low back lift, he just picks up the ball and the bat then goes behind his back in the follow-through to give the power,” said Manjrekar.

Rohit, indeed, had a poorer IPL campaign in 2022 when he failed to cross the 300-run mark as well; in 14 matches, he scored only 268 runs. In fact, Rohit's last 400+ run season came in 2019, when he had scored 405 runs in 15 games.

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