Rohit Sharma will be a crucial player for India in the ICC World Test Championship Final, scheduled to begin this Friday, 18th June against top-ranked Test side New Zealand in Southampton. However, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt feels the opener may struggle against swing.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt highlighted how swinging deliveries trouble every batter while playing against the Dukes’ ball in English conditions.
Rohit Sharma, A Free-Flowing Stroke Player Is Likely To Struggle A Bit Against The Swing: Salman Butt
Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag has backed Rohit Sharma to score big in English conditions this summer. However, Salman Butt believes Virender Sehwag has publicly backed Rohit Sharma to bolster the Indian opener’s confidence ahead of the WTC Final.
The former Pakistan cricket team skipper opined that a player needs to respect the fast bowlers in the initial phases of his innings in English conditions. According to Salman Butt, the batsman can dominate the proceedings after settling in the middle.
“A free-flowing stroke player like Rohit Sharma is likely to struggle a bit against the swing. Virender Sehwag himself had great hand and eye coordination, but every batsman faces some issues while playing in swinging conditions.
“Even Sehwag knows that. Rohit Sharma scored four centuries during the World Cup in England, but it was a white-ball game and not a Test match with the Dukes ball. Batsmen need to be a little patient while playing the Dukes ball,” Salman Butt said.
Salman Butt felt the unique nature of the Dukes’ ball could trouble any batsman from either team and not just Rohit Sharma. Lastly, Salman Butt concluded by stating that if Rohit Sharma gets going, New Zealand will find it challenging to dismiss him.
Salman Butt Don’t Think India Will Show Unnecessary Aggression Because It Is The WTC Final
The cricket fraternity has its sights set on the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final, with few players labelling it the equivalent of a World Cup final. However, Salman Butt feels India should play their natural game and treat this fixture as any regular match. In his view, there’s no need for India to alter their approach to this game.
“Team India has its own approach. I don’t think the team will show unnecessary aggression because it is the final. Attacking batsmen like Rishabh Pant, Rohit Sharma will play a bit more aggressively than others, while someone like Cheteshwar Pujara will take his time to settle in the middle. So, I don’t think they will change their natural game,” Salman Butt added.
The World Test Championship Final will begin on June 18, and it will be exciting to see if Virat Kohli’s side can become the first-ever winners of the ICC World Test Championship. Rohit Sharma has amassed 1030 runs in 11 Tests averaging 64.37 in the WTC cycle of 2019-21.
The likes of Marnus Labuschagne (1675 runs), Joe Root (1660 runs), Steve Smith (1341 runs), Ben Stokes (1334 runs), Ajinkya Rahane (1094 runs), and Rohit Sharma have managed to score above 1000 runs in the WTC. Virat Kohli is the third-highest scorer among Indians with 877 runs.
Ishant Sharma(3/36) shone with the ball in the ongoing intra-squad practice match in Southampton before the WTC final. Openers Shubman Gill (85 off 135 balls) and Rishabh Pant (121* off 94 balls) shone with the bat. Ravindra Jadeja scored an unbeaten 54 off 76 balls in India’s intra-squad practice match at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.