Sanjay Manjrekar has heaped praise on Rohit Sharma and said that he has ‘improved tremendously with regards to defence.’ He also emphasised his role if India wants to excel at the World Test Championship final. “Rohit Sharma as opener has improved tremendously with regards to defence. He plays the ball closer to the body now and is far more patient then he used to be. He also tends to leave more balls outside off and the feet move better, but England will still be his stiffest Test.He will have to change his instinct and character as a batsman to succeed, unless the sun is out all the time. This will be a biggest test for Rohit Sharma the Test opener," he concluded in his column for Hindustan Times.
Manjrekar here is referring to a recent interview he saw of Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal. He said he did well in England as sun came out whenever he batted. These made overcast English conditions a lot more batting friendly.
“It was fascinating listening to Tamim Iqbal candidly explaining his success in England as a top order batsman. He said he was lucky that every time he batted the sun came out and batting conditions became perfect; it wasn’t the same for the rest, he said.That’s where playing in England becomes tricky; although the pitches have become flatter, there isn’t much one can do about the overhead conditions. A flat pitch in overcast conditions doesn’t mean easy batting conditions. That is why when you are in England playing Tests, having a sound defence becomes an imperative," he wrote.
He said NZ will be a little more at home at Southampton."To summarise based on just weather and pitch conditions, NZ may have a slight edge at Southampton; they are just a little more at home than India and have players, especially bowlers, naturally suited to exploit such conditions.Indian bowling is efficient, but in NZ they paid a heavy price for hitting the deck too much and not bowling the ball full and getting it to swing like the Kiwi bowlers did."