ADELAIDE: It is unlikely that Rohit Sharma would have heard of John C Maxwell, or his hugely successful book, ‘Talent Is Never Enough’.
Had he cared to flip through the pages of this wonderful self-help book, Rohit would have probably done something to maximize his god-gifted talent instead of simply sitting on it. Maxwell maintains that while talent is necessary for success, it is never sufficient… that most successful people aren’t necessarily the most talented and it is by using their belief, initiative, focus, perseverance and character that they can maximize their innate talent.
Unfortunately, Rohit seems happy to measure his success only in terms of his exploits in limited-overs cricket.
It is a pity really, because the quality of his natural talent has the entire cricket world salivating. You can hardly blame the selectors for going back to him again and again, hoping against hope that he has matured enough to focus and work hard on his game in order to scale new heights in Test cricket.
As the Indian team management reposed faith in his innate talent one more time by picking him ahead of allrounder Hanuma Vihari, Rohit, yet again, let himself and his team down with an outrageous shot that can only be the result of a brain-fade.
Rohit (37 off 61 balls), who came into bat with India precariously placed on 41 for 4 in the 21st over, mixed caution with aggression to counter Australia’s pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. In the process, he managed to stitch together a valuable 45-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara.
But just when the Australian bowlers were beginning to wilt under the scorching sun and the road ahead for India looked smooth, Rohit went for a wild slog-sweep off Nathan Lyon and was lucky to survive as debutant Marcus Harris caught the ball on the midwicket boundary but failed to arrest his momentum and carried the ball over the rope. Undeterred by the let-off, Rohit slog-swept Lyon’s next delivery again and ended up popping up an easier catch to Harris this time.
It was a pre-meditated shot that the senior pro should have shunned for his side’s greater good. Social media went into a tizzy and Rohit bore the brunt of the trolls. One of them wanted to know that if the legendary Kapil Dev could have been dropped by the selectors from the Test team for playing an indiscreet shot against England in 1984-85, why can’t Rohit be handed similar punishment? It is lack of focus and Pujara-like mental resolve that has prevented Rohit from rebuilding a Test career that has floundered after a dream debut against the West Indies in 2013.