That to me sums up his Test career. Waste of a lot of ability.” – Ian Chappell on Rohit Sharma’s dismissal. It isn’t often that one disagrees with the senior Chappell but there is always a first time for everything. The manner of his dismissal is bound to trigger debates and disappointments but overall, if anything, this knock showed that he can genuinely push the likes of Ajinkya Rahane for a Test spot.
He has rarely looked so secure in his defense in Tests in the past as he did at Adelaide, and his strokes didn’t have a whiff of desperation – he looked at ease, he looked like he cared, he looked like he belonged and there was enough there to hope that this time he is here to stay. It wasn’t just his dismissals in the previous overseas Tests that was the cause of concern; it was what he did otherwise, leading up to that exit that was the real headache. You could sense an underlying anxiety and certain hesitancy of mind in trusting his technique. Especially, the defence. More on that later.
Now to that dismissal which sent Chappell, and million others no doubt, on a here-we-go-again sigh. It’s an understandable reaction but it’s misplaced. He had just hit a six, a mistimed hit that had just about carried over the boundary. The question whether another big shot was needed immediately isn’t the right query. Are we okay if he had tried it two overs later and got out similarly? The question to be asked is what was he trying to do in that shot. What went wrong?
For starters, Nathan Lyon did a clever little switch: for someone who was turning it from outside off, he saw an advancing Sharma and pinged the middle and leg line. And got it turn and bounce. The combo cramped up Sharma who initially seemed to be looking at vast untenanted midwicket region but now had to end up dragging it square. Mistake.