hose unbeaten hundred eased India to victory, came into the World Cup with a problem and a unique solution. For a while now, right through the IPL in fact, he had shelved the leg-side dabs. Those bread-and-butter shots for an Indian, or for any top-order batsman, to rotate strike against the seamers. The flicks, the wristy dabs, the nurdles to square-leg region were frozen away. Time and again through the IPL, whenever the seamers hurled full-length deliveries on middle and leg, Sharma would conscientiously try to hold his shape and push it away towards mid-on. In better days in the past, he would have wristed them past square-leg for a single at least. If not a boundary. Not any longer.
Wary of LBWs, and how he was losing his balance when he tried to work the balls to the leg-side, he has come with a plan of abstinence. Cut them out. You can cut shots like paddle scoops or late cuts or even a pull, but how do you shelve a shot that’s so instinctive and almost harmless in its essence, especially for an Indian batsman? An LBW dismissal has never been far away from Rohit through his career. Not only against the left-arm pacers, but also against the right-arm seamers who could nip it both ways. In the past, he has often put his left foot across and had problems playing around it. Last year, he seemed to have sorted that out as he sought to make intricate tweaks.