Former India batsman VVS Laxman was largely impressed by Rohit Sharma’s brilliant knock of 83 on Day 1 of the Lord’s Test against England on Thursday. Sharma, along with KL Rahul, half-centurion of the first Test, set up a solid foundation for the middle-order with their 126-run opening stand batting for over 40 overs.
Sharma batted with a similar modus operandi that he had employed at Trent Bridge. He left plenty of deliveries outside off-stump, curbing his natural instance to chase those, and then cashed in on the loose deliveries later on.
Both Sharma and Rahul didn’t look to score runs of James Anderson and Ollie Robinson in their first spells as both the pacers were spot on with their lines and lengths, But then, the Indian openers, Sharma in particular, milked runs at almost east against the change bowlers – Sam Curran, Mark Wood, and off-spinner Moeen Ali.
VVS Laxman said Sharma has found the template to score runs in overseas conditions. He recalled Sharma’s turning point in his white-ball career – when he was promoted to an opener in 2013 – and believes this could well be the turning point in his Test career as he has learned the way to score runs in challenging situations outside India.
“This is a perfect template for Rohit Sharma if he has to perform consistently in overseas conditions. I was talking about the transformation he has had in his ODI career – since the time he started opening. Even when he got a few double hundreds, this is the proper template which he follows consistently,” VVS Laxman told ESPNcricinfo.
“I think he has found a template for how to build his innings because as an opener, or as an international batsman, you have to have processes: how to build an innings, how to convert your starts into big scores, when to change gears, against which bowler to attack, against which bowler to give respect. I feel This innings will work as a template for Rohit Sharma going forward.”
I’m sure he will eventually get the hundreds: VVS Laxman
Sharma got out to a superb delivery from James Anderson – an in-nipper after being set up by an outswinger – and fell 17 runs short of what would have been his maiden Test hundred outside India.
VVS Laxman, though, reckoned that Sharma, who averages less than 30 away from home, will soon reach three figures and break this rut as he has finally found a way to succeed overseas.
“Overall, I think this is how he is going to bat in overseas conditions, and I’m sure he will eventually get the hundreds. As an experienced player, he understands that you’re not going to look out for hundreds; you follow the processes, do the right things consistenly, the results will eventually come your way,” the former batsman further stated.