VVS Laxman was asked to change the technique when he was pushed to open the innings. However, that had a negative impact on his performance during his playing days and he wants Rohit Sharma not to change his technique while opening in Tests during the South Africa Test series.
“The biggest advantage that Rohit has is his experience, which I didn’t have. I opened in Test cricket only after playing four Test matches. Rohit has played 12 years of international cricket. So he has the maturity and the experience and he is also in good form,” Laxman told Deep Dasgupta, during an interview on latter’s YouTube channel “Deep Point”. “I believe the mistake that I made while opening the innings was to change my mindset, which got me a lot of success as a middle-order batsman, whether it’s batting No 3 or No 4.”
“I also tried to change my technique. As a middle-order batsman, I was always having a front press (front-foot trigger) and then go towards the ball, whereas talking to seniors and coaches, I went to back and across as I had to face Curtly Ambrose (97-away series), who would generate steep bounce from length. This huge change in approach affected my batting and I hope Rohit shouldn’t do it,” Laxman said.
“If you tweak your natural game too much, then you will not get the results as your mind gets cluttered and you tend to lose your rhythm. I can admit that my flow was affected when I opened. Rohit is a rhythm-based player and if his touch gets affected, then it will be difficult,” said Laxman.
However, VVS Laxman said that there is a mindset of an opener and he is confident that the player like Rohit Sharma can fit in the position.
“There is a slight change in mindset but technique should remain the same. Yes, there are certain basics like initially, you shouldn’t be fishing for balls outside the off-stump, not play too much away from the body, leave the bouncers. That mental discipline, which is very important. That discipline is also required is ODI also when white kookaburra swings,” said Laxman.
However, Laxman is happy that the selection committee has made it clear that Rohit can open in all three Test matches.
“He will get three Tests and it’s not often that a selection committee shows so much faith in a player and guarantee that he will open in three games.”