There is barely any sight more beautiful in the world of cricket than watching Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma batting in full pomp together. The duo enjoy each other’s company and have a very good mutual understanding while forging a partnership.
In ODI cricket, Kohli and Rohit have been batting together since 2010 and have amassed 3518 runs at a mind-boggling average of 60.65. They have shared as many as 13 century stands while their 4 double hundred partnerships in ODI cricket is a world record. While Virat has managed to carry on his limited-overs performances to Test cricket, Rohit hasn’t been able to replicate the same feat in the longest format.
Having observed both Virat and Rohit from their early days, former Australia captain Ian Chappell reckons that the latter could be suffering from a mental block in red-ball cricket.
"Rohit Sharma has been one of my great disappointments. When I first saw him in a few one day games in Australia in 2007-08 and the way he played the short pitched delivery, I said to myself, 'This guy is a very good player and he will be good in all conditions'. He has been very good in limited overs cricket, particularly in ODIs. I mean, how can you score 264 in a 50-over game? He is a terrific player with all the ability. The disappointment for me is he hasn't produced the goods in Test cricket," Chappell quoted as saying by India Today.
"I wonder if he hasn't worked out what sort of player he is in Test cricket. I also wonder if batting behind Virat Kohli is a problem for him. In saying that, I am likening his situation with Gordon Greenidge and Viv Richards. Gordon didn't know how good a player he was. He would play really well and when Viv came in he, thought Viv got all the publicity and it diminished him as a player. I am just wondering if that gets in Rohit's mind a bit," he further added.
In fact, the legendary Aussie skipper also came up with an interesting suggestion. Chappell feels batting at No. 3 in Tests i.e. ahead of Kohli could enhance Rohit’s confidence.
"I thought if he came in at No.3, it might help him. I mean the talent that he has got, he should be one of the best Test players around," Ian Chappell remarked.
Sharma, who has done reasonably well across all the three formats in India’s last home season, was preferred over Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI against South Africa in the first two Tests that the tourists lost to concede an unassailable 2-0 lead. The elegant Mumbai batsman though couldn’t quite prove his worth against the fiery Proteas pace attack as he managed to aggregate only 78 runs in 4 innings at an abysmal average of 19.50.
As far as Rohit’s overall Test numbers are concerned – the 30-year-old has scored 1479 runs in 25 matches at an average of 39.97 with 3 centuries and 9 fifties. In contrast, the right-hander has made 6594 ODI runs in 180 games at an average of 44.55 with 17 hundreds and 34 fifties. Moreover, he is the only batsman in the history of ODI cricket to score three ODI double tons.