Rohit Sharma has admitted in the past that he would like the Indian team to play a more aggressive brand of cricket under him and has been putting his words into action by himself adopting a more free-hitting to his batting in limited overs cricket. Rohit has been noted to often end up making low scores compared to his lofty standards in white-ball cricket, especially since replacing Virat Kohli as captain in all formats, but they often come at a high strike rate.
The Mumbai Indians captain has now stated clearly that he doesn’t think that batters who play as “anchors” have any role in a T20 batting lineup any more. “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 for 3 or 4, which is not going to happen every day,” Rohit said on JioCinema. “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. [But] there is no role for an anchor anymore.
“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 as good because you are doing the role for the team. The game has changed.”
Rohit’s opinion on the role of anchors in T20 cricket stands almost in stark contrast to what his India teammate and fellow batting stalwart Virat Kohli had to say about it. Kohli, alongwith KL Rahul and even Rohit until a few years earlier, was known for being the quintessential anchor batter in T20 cricket, often batting at a low strike rate for much of the innings before sharply accelarating in the death overs. “Yeah, for sure,” Kohli had recently said on Jio Cinema when asked if he feels anchors are still relevant in T20 cricket. “There are many people who because they have not been in that situation themselves, look at the game differently. Suddenly when the powerplay is done, they will be like ‘Oh, they have started rotating the strike’. When you haven’t lost a wicket in the powerplay, usually the best player comes on to bowl, you are trying to figure out what to do against him in the first two overs, so that you can get big ones in the last two overs of that guy and then rest of the innings become much easier,” he said.