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Why Rohit Sharma is so damn good

The Mumbaikar's biggest asset is his ability to maintain the tempo without taking too many risks. While he does take the aerial route regularly, he targets the vacant spaces and mostly finds them, writes Aakash Chopra

You must open; pitch must be flat; you must hit the ground running and maintain the tempo for 50 overs.

Rohit Sharma celebrates his double century at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata yesterday
Rohit Sharma celebrates his double century at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata yesterday 

Well, this was my hypothesis when Sachin Tendulkar became the first man to climb the Everest of scoring a double ton in an ODI.

In theory, it's easier to breakdown a double century but the fact is that even when all the above boxes are ticked, double tons aren't scored everyday, and that makes the achievement special.

At Eden Gardens against Sri Lanka yesterday, Rohit Sharma not only scored his second ODI double ton but also notched up the highest ODI score.

Slow starter
Ironically, Rohit doesn't go after the ball from the beginning. In fact, his dot ball percentage is close to 70 in the first 10 overs but has this rare quality to shift gears without throwing away his wicket.

His biggest asset is his ability to maintain the tempo without taking too many risks. While he does take the aerial route regularly, he targets the vacant spaces and mostly finds them.

Rohit's game is built on the principle of staying away from the line of the ball, which allows him to free his arms. This is a foolproof method to succeed in the shorter formats, especially in the subcontinent.

For someone with limited feet movement, he has the exceptional ability to get his body into the right positions to execute the shots and that gives the impression of having extra time on his hands.

In Rohit's absence Rahane was opening with Dhawan and that sparked the debate about which Mumbaikar should partner Dhawan but this innings might have settled that debate for the time being.

It's rather tough to tell the guy who has scored two ODI double tons as an opener to bat at four or five. But I strongly feel that India should (the Test series in Australia might dictate) reconsider Rohit's batting order for the World Cup.

For, Rahane is better suited to play the new ball in Australia and New Zealand and Rohit is the ideal batsman to strengthen the middle order. But let's leave this discussion for a later date. For now, let's enjoy and celebrate the world record.

 

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