Pragyan Ojha praises Rohit Sharma’s leadership in the 2nd ODI
By SMCS - Feb 10, 2022 12:04 pm
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Former India spinner Pragyan Ojha has praised Rohit Sharma’s leadership skills in the second India-West Indies ODI on Wednesday. Ojha was impressed with the captain’s “old-school” attacking methods. He was also impressed by the captain’s support for the underperformers as well.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma took a brilliant DRS to help Prasidh Krishna taking his second wicket

Team India defended a below-par total of 237 and won by 44 runs and took a 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. Rohit Sharma, leading his second ODI since taking the job full-time, was impressive in field placements and bowling changes.

Speaking on the show ‘Cricbuzz Chatter’ after the match, Ojha said: “See, every captain does the planning part but there’s also a luck factor involved – whichever bowler he asked to bowl, did well and got him wickets. But I don’t want to take away anything from him. He planned really well and everything just strung together nicely for him.”

He further added: “You need to challenge the batsmen sometimes. The way he did that with [Odean] Smith by bringing in [Yuzvendra] Chahal and asking him to bowl slowly outside off-stump. It’s nice to see a captain encouraging his bowlers to play old-school cricket.”

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Ojha also opined on the captain’s bowling changes in the match. He said: “Nowadays, if a batsman starts hitting, the captain removes the bowler from the attack, thinking he’ll get hit for runs. But he (Rohit) tries to outsmart the opponents.”

He added: “The way he used Shardul [Thakur]. He knew he wasn’t in the best rhythm so bowled him accordingly and gave him a breather too. These small things matter a lot to bowlers and their confidence. The same Chahal was looking muddled a few years ago but now the clarity in his thoughts is tangible.”

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma discussing a DRS call

However, Rohit Sharma’s use of Prasidh Krishna and Washington Sundar was quite well. The fast-bowler picked up two wickets in seven balls and after that, he was used in short aggressive spells, which saw him picking up two more scalps.

Former India batter Ajay Jadeja explained: “Recently, there was a phase where teams became so reliant on data that which bowler will bowl when was all pre-decided… Earlier, when India used to bowl in the 50 overs, even you (the general audience) could tell that these bowlers will bowl the first 5-7 overs, these will do the last 10 and there will be ‘Kul-cha’ or someone else in the middle.”

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He again added: “But in the last two matches, I was surprised by some moves and I may not agree with it but he started with Shardul Thakur, then brought Prasidh Krishna – since he’s become captain, he’s using the same data in a different way.”

Jadeja said: “The game has evolved but it’s all the same things whether you call it intent or process. These are buzzwords. Today as the captain Rohit Sharma showed intent but it was attacking intent. The process couldn’t be pre-decided. He’s decided the intent but he’s building the process himself. He’s playing differently in every match and the opposition will now have to find a antidote to this.”