India’s ODI wizard continues Test slump
A record-breaking batsman and commended captain in coloured clothes, Rohit Sharma threatens to finish as one of Test cricket’s great unfulfilled talents.
David Warner is prolific proof of somebody who successfully made the transition from white-ball slugger to red-ball star, while Aaron Finch is trying to make the same leap.
Sharma, who attended the Under-19 World Cup in 2006 alongside Warner, is perhaps the best example of how hard the transformation can be
he 31-year-old holds the record for the highest ODI score, a stunning knock of 264 against Sri Lanka.
It’s one of his 21 ODI tons and the highest of his seven 150-plus scores in the format.
But the red ball has proven kryptonite for the batsman ranked second on the International Cricket Council’s ODI batting charts, as was the case on day one of the four-Test series yesterday.
Sharma was a controversial selection at Adelaide Oval ahead of Hanuma Vihari, earning his first recall since January and extending a stopstart Test career that began in 2013.
The 31-year-old looked perhaps more comfortable than any of his teammates during India’s terrible start to the game, only to throw his wicket away with the most unforgivable shot of the day.
Sharma flirted with disaster when he slog-swept Nathan Lyon for six after lunch, with Marcus Harris unsuccessfully attempting to parry the ball back into play.
But he was out attempting the same stroke off the next delivery, dropped shorter and bowled slower by Lyon. The “soft” dismissal for 37 is exactly why Sharma’s Test career is in the balance, according to former Test opener Simon Katich.
The Indian veteran hadn’t played a single first-class fixture since his previous Test.