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Exclusive | 'If Rohit Does Rohit, India Will Win More Matches in T20 World Cup' - Corey Anderson

By: Aditya Maheshwari


Last Updated: October 12, 2022, 08:00 IST

New Delhi, India

Corey Anderson feels Rohit Sharma will be the key for India in T20 World Cup (AP and AFP Image)

Corey Anderson feels Rohit Sharma will be the key for India in T20 World Cup (AP and AFP Image)

In an exclusive conversation with News18 CricketNext, former New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson emphasised on how playing with such an approach is pulling back Rohit Sharma from getting big scores.

After constant failures in ICC events, Team India has now started embracing an ultra-attacking approach with the bat in the shortest format to get their hands on the upcoming T20 World Cup trophy. Depth in the batting line-up allows the Indian team to play the fearless brand of cricket. The Men in Blue struggled miserably in 2021 T20 WC where they batted with a conservative approach and relied heavily on their top 3 - KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. The overreliance on the top 3 also cost them the 2017 Champions Trophy and 2019 ODI World Cup.

Under the management of Rahul Dravid, India changed their approach and started playing this new attacking brand of cricket which worked well for them as a team on several occasions. Players like Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik coming at number 5 and 6 allow the other batters to get going.

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While the emergence of Suryakumar Yadav also played a massive role in India’s success while embracing the fearless approach. With his 360-degree batting ability, Suryakumar has all the credentials to hit any ball out of the park from the word go, his nonchalant stroke-making completely changed the dynamics of the Indian team in the last few months.


However, it has also impacted a player like Rohit Sharma who has been struggling to manufacture big scores which he used to do at ease in the last few years. The Indian skipper has scored four centuries in T20Is- most by any in the shortest format. However, in the attempt to embrace the new batting approach, Rohit is trying to hit almost every ball for a boundary right from the start which automatically increased the risk factor. He is scoring quickfire 20s and 30s to get India off to a flyer but has been struggling to convert them into big scores. In 2022, the swashbuckling opener has scored just two half-centuries in T20Is which is well below the standards he has set for himself.

In an exclusive conversation with News18 CricketNext, former New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson, who himself played an attacking brand of cricket during his international career, emphasised on how playing with such an approach is pulling back Rohit from getting big scores. Anderson pointed out that when a player tries to hit everything for a boundary his ego comes into play which doesn’t work well for them all the time.

“Yeah, it can go either way in that regard. I think if you’ve been told to keep going, sometimes, you lose your way a little bit. I think sometimes your ego comes into play and you wanna try and hit boundaries all the time. I think when you look at some of Rohit’s best innings, he’s either gets off to a flyer, cruise through the middle and then take off at the end, and that’s when he gets these big totals and obviously, Team India gets a massive total as well," Corey Anderson told News18 CricketNext.

Anderson, who played under Rohit’s leadership at Mumbai Indians, suggested that when a team has depth in the batting order like India, then it makes things a bit tricky for the top-order batters as they think of scoring quick runs as they have the assurance of having more bullets in the gun. Anderson feels that Rohit is probably thinking about his team getting some extra runs and putting that pressure on himself.

“It’s a difficult one because as soon as you’ve got depth in your lineup and you know, there are people batting seven, eight who can hit the ball, it makes it difficult to not keep going hard because I guess you feel like you’ve got more, you got more bullets in the gun, or you got, you know, more in the tank, so you feel like you need to hit a little bit harder or risk, take a few more risks. Because you’re thinking if we get 200, we can try and win this game and instead of, you know, getting 180 and hopefully we can defend it. So yeah, I think he might be putting that pressure on himself a little bit," Anderson said.

The 31-year-old, who took retirement from international cricket in 2020, heaped praises on Rohit as claims he is one of the best players to watch and asserted that if he gets going, India is going to win more matches for sure.

“If Rohit does Rohit and bats like he can, they’re going to win more games than they don’t. When he is in full flight, he’s one of the best players to watch. Um, he makes it just look effortless and he makes batting look very, very easy. I think he probably needs to look within himself and, and do what he needs to do. I know the rest of that team obviously respects him and backs him. So if he does what he can do, they’re gonna do pretty well," he added.

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Anderson held the record for the fastest century in ODI cricket in 36 balls, before AB de Villiers broke it with a 29-ball ton against West Indies in 2015.

The southpaw feels that not every team can bat with the aggressive approach with the bat as you need more ammunition in your armoury to back it.

“I think it’s a difficult one because you’ve gotta adapt to whatever line you’ve got in your team. I think it’s easy to say, let’s go out and be aggressive. If you don’t have the team that wants to commit to that, it’s very hard to kind of embrace that and want to do it. So I think you’ve gotta look at your lineup," he added.

Anderson walked down memory lane and talked about how former skipper Brendon McCullum brought the change of approach to the New Zealand team which India are trying to embrace now with their batting.

“When Brendon McCullum was captain of New Zealand, we did have that fearless approach where we’re trying to win the game and if we don’t, we’ve got another chance at some other point and we’ll keep playing and throwing our hat into the ring and hopefully we can come out with some wins. So he was very fearless and we followed him and with that, But if a team doesn’t wanna do that and they don’t have the personnel, it’s very hard to trick your mind into thinking it’s fearless because there’ll be part of you think we’re gonna take this on. But then in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, I don’t wanna do this and I’ve gotta do something else," he said.

The former New Zealand all-rounder thinks the best way to get the best results is to give freedom to every player to express themselves. He feels when a player is relaxed in their mind it allows them to play their game with a lot of clarity.

“I think having that adaptability within your own setup. I don’t think there’s one specific way, to skin that cat. I don’t think it’s a, it doesn’t have to be a fearless approach. It doesn’t have to be, a reserved approach. I think the best way to probably have it is to give each individual the freedom to kind of express themselves. And I think that’s normally when you get the most out of a players as well. You tend to see them when they express themselves, they do well when they’re a little bit more relaxed and they’re not thinking about too much. They’re just going out there watching the ball, playing the ball and doing what they can do. And I think if your selection’s right and the people are in the right positions, that’s when it kind of all comes together," he added.

Anderson said that India have depth in their batting line-up to play an attacking brand of cricket but the test will arise when the top-order collapse early and the pressure will be on the middle-order to revive the innings and play with the same approach.

“I’d say it’s a hard one because I don’t think the fearless part works all the time with different teams. But I can see where India’s trying to go with it. They’ve got a lot of depth and they’ve got a lot of ability, to bat deep, to try and keep going. I guess the test is if you’re in trouble, then what do you do If you’re three or four down and it’s quick and you’re not on many, do you keep going? I think if they get in that position, that’s probably gonna be the difference. If they do keep going, then yeah, they’re playing with playing fearless cricket and they’re, they’re not afraid to lose and they’re gonna try but if they lose a few wickets early and go into their shell, then I think we’ve probably found our answer," he said.

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first published:October 12, 2022, 08:00 IST
last updated:October 12, 2022, 08:00 IST