Rohit Sharma had a successful 2019. Not only did the ‘Hitman’ blaze his way to the top in the ODIs, he also set the stage on fire in Test match cricket too.
The right hander opened the batting for India in Tests this year, and scored a massive 556 runs in just 6 innings, at a prolific average of 92.67. Rohit also scored two hundreds and a double hundred in the 6 innings of the year.
Rohit averages 46.54 in Tests, and has scored 6 hundreds and a double hundred in the 53 innings that he has played.
Things should all be fine with it right?
Diving Deep gives us answers
But then, when we delve deep into the numbers and peel off the layers that surround them, we get to find more answers.
Let us look at Rohit Sharma’s record in Test matches in every country.
It is clear that even though Rohit Sharma’s average of 46.54 is very good for a batsman in Tests, it has been boosted mainly by his exploits in Indian conditions. Rohit averages a whopping 88.33 in Tests played at home.
Strikingly, the batsman has not scored even a single Test hundred outside India even though he has played 33 innings away from home.
Also, in England and South Africa, he does not even average 20.00. In the 8 innings that he has played in South Africa, Sharma averages a miserable 15.38, and what is more alarming is, out of the 8 innings that he has played in South Africa, he has not even crossed the 30 run mark in 7 of those innings.
His record in Australia too, is pretty ordinary. The ‘Hitman’ has featured in 10 innings but averages a very mediocre 31.00, more than 15 points below his career average. In the land of the Kangaroos too, Sharma has scored below 40 in 7 out of the 10 innings that he has played.
Even in New Zealand, apart from a well made 72 in the year 2014, Sharma has not made any meaningful contribution, and his respectable average of 40.67 is mainly due to the fact that he was unbeaten in one of the 4 innings that he played, which boosted his average.
A Lion in his own Den
However, when it comes to playing in India, Rohit has been unstoppable in favorable home conditions. Rohit started his career in Tests in grand style by smashing a rollicking hundred on his Test debut in the year 2013 ( which also happened to be the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s last Test) at home.
After that, Rohit blasted his way to stunning hundreds in the Test series against South Africa last year. Rohit blasted 2 hundreds and a double hundred in the four innings that he played against the Proteas in 2019, and those exploits have allowed him to average a massive 92.67 in Tests played in 2019.
Still a long way to go in Tests
As far as ODI cricket is concerned, there is no question about Rohit Sharma’s greatness. He has already scored over 9000 runs, stands 4th in the list of batsmen with most ODI hundreds, and is the only man in the world to have scored three double hundreds in the ODI format. And, during the 2019 World Cup, he also became the only batsman in history to have scored 5 hundreds in a single World Cup event.
But, when it comes to the longest and the toughest form of the game- Test cricket, Rohit still has a long way to go. He has not scored single hundred in Tests away from home, and has been found wanting on many occasions.
He is yet to stamp his authority in places like Australia, South Africa and England, and these are playing conditions that are considered as the toughest for a sub continent batsman.
In ODI cricket, Rohit has already carved a niche for himself as the greatest batsman of the modern era, alongside the legendary Virat Kohli, but the same does not hold good in Tests.
Rohit still needs to stamp his authority in varied places in the toughest and most demanding format of the game, for him to be considered as one of the all time greats in the red ball( and now pink ball also) version as well.