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T20 World Cup 2024: Carefree Rohit Sharma gives perfect demonstration of modern day T20 batting

T20 World Cup 2024: Rohit Sharma's carefree approach draws parallel with how a T20 batting should be. His 92 off 41 against Australia is perfect example of his approach.

T20 World Cup 2024, IND vs AUS_ Rohit Sharma scored 92 off 41 balls; India beat Australia _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ICC_X)
Rohit Sharma scored 92 off 41 balls; India beat Australia (Source: ©ICC/X)

‘As I see it, there is no role for an anchor now. It’s just how T20 cricket is played these days unless you are 20 for 3 or 4, which isn’t going to happen every day.’ Rohit Sharma expressed this during the last Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2023. It’s one thing to say, but another to do it on a big stage. 

Even from the last ODI World Cup 2023, the template for India at the start has been different. It has been about going hard in the powerplay, against the new ball. On most occasions, it’s their captain Rohit Sharma taking the charge on his shoulders. No matter which opposition they play, his goal has been quite clear. 

For a long time in 20-over cricket, India have been old-school in showing intent. For them, it was mostly about keeping wickets in hand and going hard towards the back end of the innings. But with the change of time, the other teams have discovered a new style to play T20s. And on special occasions during the knockout games, India have realised the same. 

Rohit Sharma’s ruthless batting: India’s cheat code for the 20-over format

Once India decided to go hard in the powerplay, they needed someone to step up. They required someone to ignore his individual record. It was their captain who raised his hand. In the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, the Mumbai batter has shown his ruthless batting in the powerplay.

With India’s qualification in the ‘Super Eight’ stages, they moved to the West Indies. In the second game of the Super Eights in Antigua, against Bangladesh, Rohit came out with the same carefree mode. On the very first ball of the game, he went down the ground for a couple of runs. 

An experienced Shakib Al Hasan came into the attack in the second over of the innings. On the second ball, the India captain swept the full ball behind square on the leg side for four. In the fourth over, he ran down the track to whack the veteran left-arm spinner over long-on for six. On the very next delivery, Rohit pulled the short ball to the backward point for another boundary. 

He was eventually dismissed. But again, his goal was to earn another big shot in that over. The job was done beautifully by Rohit, who ended with 23 runs in 11 balls. An old approach would have seen India going for a single, but the modern T20 hardly allows that in the powerplay.

Rishabh Pant tried a reverse sweep for a big shot. Even though he got out, the template for the side was quite clear. That batting scorecard only saw Hardik Pandya finishing with an unbeaten 50 in 27 balls. Despite that, they reached 196/5 in 20-overs because others chipped in with their small but vital contributions.

T20 World Cup 2024, IND vs AUS_ Rohit Sharma scored 92 off 41 balls; India beat Australia _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ICC_X)
Rohit Sharma hit 8 sixes and 7 fours in 92-run innings (Source: ©ICC/X)
Rohit’s attacking version under pressure against Australia

The stage was getting bigger. The ‘Men in Blue’ were facing Australia at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in St Lucia. India had just lost Virat Kohli. The question was whether Rohit Sharma had the guts to show the same aggression from that position. And he replied with the bat. 

On the first ball of a new over from Mitchell Starc, the Nagpur-born started with two consecutive sixes. The bowler straightaway came under pressure as the batter slapped the third ball over mid-on for a boundary. Rohit belted Starc for two more sixes in the same over to earn 29 of it. He could have easily seen off that over on the back of Kohli’s wicket. But under his leadership, India play with a different philosophy. 

On the very first ball by Pat Cummins, he got down on his knees and smoked him over deep mid-wicket, like a spinner, for six. Even after the rain break, Rohit didn’t lose the momentum. He went for three boundaries in the next four balls to celebrate a 19-ball fifty. With the introduction of Adam Zampa into the attack, he played the same shot over deep mid-wicket. The result was the same; it went for another six. 

Mitchell Marsh looked clueless with his planning and bowling options. He threw under pressure Marcus Stoinis against Rohit, who was in no mood to slow down a bit. He drilled another boundary before launching him for two successive sixes. The carnage was on till the 12th over before Starc finally sent him back. 

Rohit Sharma finished with 92 runs in 41 balls, including eight sixes and seven boundaries. This means he had at least one boundary in less than three balls (approximately), which is quite spectacular. He could have easily taken his time to get to a personal milestone, but the goal was to help the team. 

There was no dull moment in his knock, and he led the side from the front. With this mentality, the team isn’t worried about the situation. This will also scare the opponents more as the tournament progresses into the knockout stage. 


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