Aakash Chopra lauded Rohit Sharma for his excellent show in England, as he reflected upon the great determination shown by the opener, and the radical changes in his game. Rohit was India's highest run-getter in the series, with 368 runs at 52.57, including a match-winning hundred at The Oval.
Much like he did in white-ball cricket, Rohit Sharma discovered his best self as a Test batter after he was promoted to open for India. It all began during the home Test series against South Africa in October 2019, when he returned with three hundreds from four innings, including a career-best 212 in Ranchi. While he continued to excel at home, a three-digit score kept eluding.
However, during the recent England series, Rohit showed exemplary discipline and technical proficiency to return with 368 runs at 52.57 - a tally bettered only by Joe Root (564 at 94). His 83 at Lord’s and 127 at The Oval - both coming in a winning cause - were the two standouts.
Aakash Chopra, the former Indian opener, was in all praises for the Mumbai batter, as he analyzed the change in his approach in challenging English conditions.
“How one gets addicted to the rhythms of batting in Test cricket is not a topic that gets discussed all that often,” Chopra wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo. “But for a striking example of a display of the latter kind of innings and how it can cast an enchanting spell, look at how Rohit Sharma has batted since he set foot on English soil earlier this year.
"It took courage to make the radical changes to his game that we saw him make in England. While Rohit batted the way he was expected to bat in India in Tests, he changed his game radically to meet the demands of English conditions. He went against his natural instinct, which is to attack at the first opportune moment.”
Chopra, who himself opened in 19 Tests for India, believed that Rohit, with his brilliance in England, has “taken a giant leap towards writing his legacy” in the game’s longest version.
"Rohit's attempt to play a totally different brand of cricket to that with which he got all his international success reflected two things: nurture is as influential as nature, if not more; and he has a burning desire to succeed in Tests,” wrote Chopra.
"He knew that this English summer had the potential to define his legacy as a Test cricketer. And it is remarkable that standing at such a crucial juncture so far into his career, he had the conviction to remould his game so drastically that he looked like a different batter altogether
"In England, this summer Rohit seems to have taken a giant leap towards writing his legacy, an effort born of his love for the longer format."