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Indian T20 League: Can Rohit Sharma overcome his woes against spin?

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Rohit Sharma began his Indian T20 League 2020 campaign with a cracking cover drive off the very first ball he faced from Chennai's Deepak Chahar, and it fetched him four runs as well. Despite being away from cricket for around six months due to the global pandemic, Rohit didn't look rusty at all. It looked like he started right from where he left off.

Another attacking stroke off a wide delivery to the cover-point boundary in the very next over, bowled by Sam Curran, only summed up the kind of touch Rohit was in.

Runs

706

Balls

512

Average

30.69

Strike-rate

137.89

Table: Rohit Sharma vs Pace in the Indian T20 League since 2017

He is considered to be one of the best Indian players of pace bowling in the white-ball format and the numbers in the table above tell you why. An average of over 30 and a strike-rate close to 140 are excellent numbers for any Indian batsman against pace.

However, the same cannot be said about his approach against spinners. Even though he was looking so good while facing the Chennai pacers initially, he looked quite tentative when Piyush Chawla came on to bowl his leg-breaks in the fifth over of the innings. After defending the first ball he faced from Chawla, Rohit tried to loft the next delivery over mid-off but only ended up giving away an easy catch to Curran.

This has been his problem against spinners of late. He fails to read them properly and struggles with his timing against them too. In fact, he has always been a slow scorer against spin as compared to pace but his rate of dismissals against the latter has increased quite a lot of late.

Metrics

Till 2017

Since 2017

Runs

1435

330

Balls

1273

303

Average

46.29

16.83

Strike-rate

112.72

108.91

Table: Rohit Sharma vs spinners in the Indian T20 League

An average of less than 17 and a strike-rate under 110 against the spinners isn't something that can be imagined of an Indian player. But Rohit definitely has a weakness against them, as the numbers tell. The low strike-rate suggests that he doesn't attack spinners that much either and that's why his rate of dismissal against them becomes even more unacceptable.

In fact, if we look at his numbers against spinners in the Indian T20 League prior to 2017, we will find the same low strike-rate (112.72) against them. However, his average of 46.29 used to be so much better.

The Indian T20 League is being held in the UAE this time and a couple of matches played till now has already shown how the pitches are going to behave in the forthcoming matches. The tracks are already offering enough grip and turn to the spinners and it's only going to get more helpful for them as the tournament progresses further. So it's high time that Rohit found a way to sort his issues against spin. Even if he doesn't find a way to score quickly against them, he desperately needs to find a way to protect his wicket.

Feature image courtesy: Twitter /Mumbai

 

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