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Rohit Sharma is batting as though he's half asleep: Ian Chappell

Former Australia skipper says it’s annoying to see India's middle order batsman not playing to potential

Nothing excites former cricketers more than seeing a highly talented player with a bright future. And nothing is more frustrating than seeing a player not living up to his potential.

Rohit Sharma
India's Rohit Sharma walks back to the pavilion after he was dismissed during Day Four of the first Test against Australia at Adelaide on December 12. Pic/Getty Images.

Rohit Sharma is a case in point as the Mumbai middle-order batsman has disappointed former Australia captain-turned-commentator Ian Chappell, who liked what he saw when he watched Rohit play his first one-day international against Australia in Brisbane during the 2007-08 season.

Seven years later, Rohit has not hit the high notes Down Under although he got starts in the first innings of the Adelaide and Brisbane Tests where India lost by 48 runs and four wickets respectively.

Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell

“He’s got to stop batting as though he’s half asleep and in the nets,” Chappell told mid-day yesterday.

Rohit got a peach of a delivery (145kmph) from a rampaging Mitchell Johnson on the fourth day of the Brisbane Test that found an edge and went straight to Brad Haddin behind the stumps. Some experts reckoned he could have left the ball alone but Rohit was walking back with a duck to his name.

His dismissal in the first innings at Brisbane was more disappointing. A wide out-swinger from Shane Watson was driven on the up only to be caught by skipper Steve Smith at second slip. His 94-minute 32 had three fours and a six off Nathan Lyon over wide long-on. The same bowler dismissed him in the second innings at Adelaide, where India were in with a good chance of chasing their way to victory. But Rohit gloved a delivery to leg slip — a highly questionable shot to play on a pitch with turn and bounce.

What a talent!
When asked what is the most annoying aspect of Rohit’s dismissals, Chappell said, “The most annoying thing is he’s wasting an enormous talent. He gets out so softly all the time. He appears to want it to look like it’s easy but it’s not easy, otherwise a lot more people would be playing Test cricket.”

Rohit’s disappointing dismissals notwithstanding, it is unlikely that the think-tank will keep him out of the playing XI for the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne. Indeed, he is equipped to execute the horizontal bat shots on the bouncy wickets of Australia, but he ought to improve his shot selection to make a sizeable contribution.

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