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K.R. NAYAR COLUMN: Sharma shows timing is destructive than hard hits

Indian opener proves that muscle and height is not needed to score fast centuries

Image Credit: AFP
Rohit Sharma
Gulf News

Rohit Sharma makes batting look so easy. The ease with which he hits double centuries in One Day Internationals and centuries in T20 Internationals makes one wonder whether he is gifted with some special powers.

His highest score of 264 is equal to the total score teams sometimes manage to post in ODI matches. When scoring one double century is considered a huge achievement, he has three double centuries to his credit in One-day matches.

Similarly, hitting a century in Twenty20 isn’t easy, but he has done it twice; and through his last century on December 22 against Sri Lanka he equalled the world record for the number of balls (35 balls) faced to reach the three figure mark held by South Africa’s David Miller.

Strangely, Miller has the nickname Killer Miller, but Sharma, who has massacred bowlers mercilessly, is yet to be given a similar nick name. Is it because Sharma doesn’t possess the gigantic looks the big-hitters have? Not likely since he has proved that hit sixes and score quickly one need not be tall and well-built like Chris Gayle or Kieron Pollard.

Sharma does not evoke any Boom Boom request from the crowd like Shahid Afridi when he comes out to bat, but he still hits sixes to all parts of the ground.

Also, his sixes may not look powerful and create a fear like Gayle or Pollard’s. Last week when Miller and Pollard hit sixes in the T10 Cricket League in Sharjah, those shots soared high and crashed into the stands; Sharma’s sixes though do not fly like those, but does get the same amount of runs! The trick could be that Sharma’s sixes are beautifully timed rather than the power factor.

What also differentiates Sharma from the others is that rarely anyone shouts out for sixes from him when he goes out to bat.

Instead, his sixes and fours flow gradually over the innings and rarely from the very first over or ball. Sharma waits for a suitable field to get started. He had once admitted that he likes to hit only when the field is spread and he has enough boundary options. So Sharma is not just a blind hitter who hits a six as per the demands of the crowd. But he can be relied by his team to get a huge score unlike other hard hitters who walk in, hit hard, and then vanish in a flash.

When Sharma is in full flow, no hard hitters will be able to match him. He has proved that height, size and muscle power are not important, but through hard work on timing and techniques anyone can become a fearsome batsman.