Former New Zealand batsman Scott Styris has stated that Indian opener Rohit Sharma will struggle against swing bowling in the WTC final, citing his lack of footwork as the reason. Styris also mentioned that Neil Wagner will be key for the Black Caps against Virat Kohli with the old ball.
Former New Zealand batsman Scott Styris has pointed out that Indian opening batsman Rohit Sharma will struggle against swing bowling in the WTC final against the Black Caps. In the past, Rohit has faltered against swing bowling in England, especially against the left-arm pacers. The opener is yet to play a Test in England, but in ODI cricket, Rohit has found it difficult to tackle swing in big games in recent years, notably against Amir in the 2017 Champions trophy final and against Matt Henry in the 2019 World Cup semi-finals.
Many experts and pundits are out with their sets of theories on players and squads performances during the course of time and cricketer-turned-commentator Styris has his own analogy on his former Deccan Chargers’ teammate Rohit Sharma. Styris said Rohit’s lack of footwork against the moving ball will make him struggle should the conditions favor swing.
“It is pitch dependent… I think I can’t stress that enough. I think if the ball is moving around then Rohit will have his struggles. Rohit doesn’t really moves his feet a lot early in his innings. If that’s the case, then the swinging ball could be a problem for him,” Styris commented in Star Sports’ show ‘Game Plan’.
New Zealand’s strength is their four-pace bowling attack, and it has been one of the main reasons for them reaching the summit of the WTC. Southee, Boult and Jamieson are all expected to be a handful in swinging conditions, but Styris believes Neil Wagner will play a key role in the middle overs against the Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
‘There is no secret to New Zealand’s fast bowling plan if you like and that is Southee, Boult and either Jamieson or de Grandhomme will be the third seamer and they bowled till about the 22nd to 28th over with a new ball,” Styris said.
“And then Neil Wagner comes into the equation. So, when you talk about Wagner, it’s his ability to be aggressive and be a genuine wicket-taking option for somebody like (Virat) Kohli in those middle overs till the new ball comes around,” he added.
Former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman and Virat Kohli’s ex-RCB teammate Parthiv Patel, meanwhile, mentioned that the Indian skipper will have to take his time and carry his 2018 tour’s experience in the final game. Kohli had a befitting reply to England in 2018 after his miserable performance in 2014, especially against England’s ace bowler James Anderson. With 593 runs from 10 innings at an average of 59.30, Kohli led the charge.
“I think probably he will have to give himself a bit of time and try to think what he did in 2018 — where he got a number of hundreds,” Parthiv said.
“So, probably he is better equipped than what he was in 2014, but there will be challenges and there will be challenges of variety of fast bowlers. Reason being — it is not a one-dimensional fast bowling attack.”