VVS Laxman, the former Indian cricketer, and commentator believe that Peter Siddle’s drop catch fired up Rohit Sharma and allowed him to bat freely on Day 2 of the ongoing Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Thursday (December 27).
The 31-year-old grabbed the opportunity with both hands at the MCG after Adelaide failure dropped him from Perth Test, as Rohit played an unbeaten knock of 63 runs off 114 balls laced with five boundaries to help India to declare the first innings at 443/7 and stack his claim for the Sydney Test.
However, Rohit wasn’t able to find his rhythm earlier his innings at the MCG, but he managed to find his tempo with the bat after Siddle dropped him at short fine leg when he attempted a sweep shot off Nathan Lyon at the score of 15, and even his strike-rate got better here.
Laxman found two Rohit in the first innings of India, saying the dropped catch boosted the right-hander and he got the reprieve to play a good inning against quality Australian fast bowlers at the MCG.
Rohit was playing at a strike-rate of 24.59 (15 from 61 balls) when Siddle dropped his catch, thereafter, he scored 48 runs from 53 balls at a strike-rate of 90.56, as well as, stitched a stand of 62 runs with Cheteshwar Pujara, and 76 with Rishabh Pant to help his team to put up a significant 443 on the board.
Laxman told ESPNcricinfo, “One of the reasons why Rohit’s strike-rate was less was because of the way he started off. When he was having that partnership with Rahane and, lost two set batsmen. At that time, Rohit and Rahane were new at the wicket and while Ajinkya was batting well, it was important to stitch a stand as India couldn’t have afforded to lose another wicket.”
He signed off by saying, “Rohit wasn’t able to find his rhythm and not able to time the ball. It was tough for a new batsman to come and accelerate against quality fast bowlers. But there were two types of Rohit Sharma- one before Siddle dropped his catch and the other after he got the reprieve. Rohit was more free-flowing than what it was before. Once Pant joined him, his strike-rate got better.”
(With ESPNcricinfo Inputs)