Mumbai: India captain Rohit Sharma believes T20 cricket has changed and there is no role for anchors left in the format, adding that he has been exploring what he can achieve more as a batter even though his change in approach has brought about failures.
The Indian captain across formats, Rohit says as a batter he wants to do things ‘differently’ now without worrying too much about the outcomes, and that power-hitting could never be his forte. “As I see it, there is no role for an anchor now. It is just how T20 cricket is played these days, unless you are 20/3 or 4, which is not going to happen every day,” Rohit told Jio Cinema.
“Once in a while, you will be in that position and then someone needs to anchor the innings and finish off to a good score. There is no role for an anchor anymore, guys are playing differently.” Rohit feels a change in mindset is mandatory. “If you do not change your mindset, you are going to get smashed. People on the other side are thinking about the game differently and taking it to the next level.
“All seven batters need to play their role, I believe that if you get a good score, it is good, but even if you get a good 30-40 off just 10-15 or 20 balls, it is (just) as good because you are doing the role for the team. The game has changed,” he added. The Mumbai Indians and India captain said he has played T20 cricket long enough for him to stick to a particular approach to batting.
Rohit feels a change in mindset is mandatory.
“If you do not change your mindset, you are going to get smashed. People on the other side are thinking about the game differently and taking it to the next level.
“All seven batters need to play their role, I believe that if you get a good score, it is good, but even if you get a good 30-40 off just 10-15 or 20 balls, it is (just) as good because you are doing the role for the team. The game has changed,” he added.
The Mumbai Indians and India captain said he has played T20 cricket long enough for him to stick to a particular approach to batting.
“I just want to play that way and see what I can do. I have played this format for a long time and in a certain manner. But I want to do different things now. While doing that, (if) I get out, (it) does not really bother me,” he said.
Rohit added, “If you see, in Chennai (vs Chennai Super Kings) and before that in Mohali (vs Punjab Kings), I got out zero. In the third game, against RCB, I stepped down the first ball. I thought I have failed thrice in as many attempts but it is fine, this is what I am going to do.”
The 36-year-old said he cannot switch to power-hitting because others are doing so and would prefer to get the runs the way he can.
“I know (that) I cannot match the power of guys like Tim David, Kieron Pollard and Cameron Green. They are powerful hitters; they can hit 100 metres easily,” he said.
Rohit also doesn’t believe in fetish in hitting 100m sixes.
“But my thinking is that if I am getting a six after 65-70 metres, I only have to hit 80 metres. Why do I need to hit 100 metres? I will do that once you allow eight runs for it.
“I will hit 80 metres only because I am getting six runs for it, and for that I need to time the ball. I do not need to muscle the ball like the other guys do — that is their strength. My strength is to get the ball in the middle of the bat, which is what we call the sweet spot,” Rohit added.
Rohit said batting star Suryakumar Yadav is reaping the benefits of the hard work he has put in over the last several years.
“Look at Surya; he is not hitting it big. He can also hit 100 metres but his thinking is also the same. Everyone has been watching Surya for the last one or one-and-a-half years.
“But he is a seasoned cricketer, he has been playing since 2008. If I am not wrong, he made his debut in 2010-11. So from the last 10-12 years, he is playing the Ranji Trophy.
“His bats have gone from white to red — he hits that many balls. I have seen him from age-group cricket; he has done his hard yards from local cricket to Ranji Trophy,” Rohit said.
The five-time IPL winning captain Rohit admitted Mumbai Indians are a team of superstars but said the franchise has a system to create superstars from players they bring in through their impressive scouting process.
“Yes, it is a superstar team, but it is because the franchise has worked for it. All these players are part of the big auction pool — we have bought them.
“Our team of scouts had worked day and night to get Jasprit Bumrah and Akshar Patel here from Ahmedabad. Hardik (Pandya) and Krunal (Pandya) were spotted in 2015 and we got them here. We have worked hard for it. It was a five-year journey from 2015-2020,” he said.
Rohit claimed young players Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera will be ‘huge stars’ not only for Mumbai Indians but also for India.
“It is going to be the same story with what has happened with Bumrah, Hardik and all these guys. Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera… you watch the next two years. But then people will say ‘it is a superstar team’. Yes it is, we are making them here. These two guys are going to be huge stars for us (MI) and for India,” he said.
Rohit, who will lead India in the final of the World Test Championship and the 50-over World Cup later this year, revealed he did not watch most of the 2011 World Cup due to disappointment of not being selected.
“2011 was a big setback year for me only because I was not a part of the World Cup squad. It just hit me really hard, I realised a lot has to change. I made a conscious effort to change my game, my routines, everything about myself.
“I used to live by myself; I said ‘I am just going to stay alone’. Honestly, I did not watch the World Cup except the semis and the final, because I was so disappointed, I did not want to watch,” he said.