Rohit Sharma
Test Match 4 between India and Australia, featuring Rohit Sharma

The senior India cricketer listed numerous ways in which Rohit Sharma failed to live up to his potential as captain.

Dinesh Karthik, a veteran wicketkeeper-batsman for the Indian cricket team, praised Rohit Sharma’s captaincy on Day 1 of the fourth Test match against Australia on Thursday but also pointed out other instances in which Sharma might have done better. In the final 9 overs of the day’s play, Rohit elected to use the second new ball, which allowed the Australian hitters to loosen up and score easily. Karthik suggested in a recent conversation that Rohit should have used spinner Axar Patel sooner in the match and that he should have taken the new ball on Day 2.

For most portion of the day, I quite enjoyed it. In field assignments, he took the initiative. The standard technique of “silly point, short leg” was not employed by him. The ball didn’t lob up or anything, and there wasn’t even a bat-pad in sight. The screws were always tightened by him. Before the end of the first hour, he had regained control and taken four wickets. While Smith and Khawaja were at the crease, “he held it tight and didn’t allow them easy boundaries,” Karthik commented on Cricbuzz.

But I don’t think it was a good call for him to go to the new ball at that point. He should have asked himself, “Should I have bowled 9 overs with it?” in retrospect. Might there be 4-5 instead? Indeed, that counts as one. Also, the second. As a case study on Rohit Sharma’s captaincy thus far, Axar Patel makes for fascinating reading.

He’s handing a lot of overs to Jadeja and Ashwin, two of India’s most reliable players. The question is where Axar Patel, the third spinner, fits into this scenario. We’ve seen him succeed with the new ball, so maybe he could have bowled with it if you’d given him the chance. He has bounce, it’s just the way the ball bounces in his house,” he explained.

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