Rohit Sharma has failed to get into any sort of form on the ongoing Indian tour to South Africa. He could not justify his inclusion ahead of Ajinkya Rahane in the first two Test matches, and has been dismissed cheaply in the four ODIs that India has played against the Proteas so far.
Former South African skipper Kepler Wessels believes Sharma’s lack of form in South Africa is down to an aspect of his technique, which has never stood him in good stead when it came to performing in the country. Sharma has only scored 126 runs in the twelve ODIs he has played in South Africa, managing a highest score of just 23. In the four Tests he has played in the rainbow nation, he has scored only 123 runs at an average of 15.37.
In an interview with Times of India, Wessels said, “He will always struggle to score runs in South Africa because of his footwork. He plants his front foot across to the off-side and in SA, the pitches always seam and bounce a bit. This is the reason that he averages around 10 there.”
“He’ll always struggle there because of his technique. It doesn’t affect him in India and even in Australia, because the ball doesn’t seam there, it just bounces, but when you have seam and bounce, with that technique, he’s got a problem,” he added.
However, speaking about the Indian side in the ODI format, Wessels was all praise, saying the addition of the two leg-spinners in Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav made the side very dangerous. He said, “I think that they’ve got a totally different team, a totally different arsenal. They have introduced the two legspinners which has totally confused the SA set-up. I think that India’s One-Day team at the moment is very good. Their Test team is good too. I mean they are ranked No. 1 in the Tests, but I think that this ODI team, with the combination and variety that they have is excellent.”
India will take on the Proteas in the fifth ODI of the ongoing series on Tuesday, January 13th at the St. George’s Oval in Port Elizabeth.