New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Veteran Indian batsman VVS Laxman, who is known as the god of fourth innings, has a bit of advice for Rohit Sharma. According to Rohit should stick to his natural game in Tests as a change in technique can have a negative impact on his performance.

“The biggest advantage that Rohit has is his experience, which I didn’t have. I opened in Test cricket only after playing four Test matches. Rohit has played 12 years of international cricket. So he has the maturity and the experience and he is also in good form,” said Laxman in an interview to former cricketer Deep Dasgupta.

“I believe the mistake that I made while opening the innings was to change my mindset, which got me a lot of success as a middle-order batsman, whether it’s batting No 3 or No 4,” Laxman said.

Also Read | ‘I was ignored despite clearing the yo-yo test, could’ve played another WC’: Yuvraj Singh

“I also tried to change my technique. As a middle-order batsman, I was always having a front press (front-foot trigger) and then go towards the ball, whereas talking to seniors and coaches, I went to back and across as I had to face Curtly Ambrose (97-away series), who would generate steep bounce from length. This huge change in approach affected my batting and I hope Rohit shouldn’t do it,” Laxman added.

However, Laxman didn’t discount that there is a basic discipline, more so in mindset that an opener must have and he is confident that a player of Rohit’s calibre can imbibe that after so many years of international experience.

“There is a slight change in mindset but technique should remain the same. Yes, there are certain basics like initially, you shouldn’t be fishing for balls outside the off-stump, not play too much away from the body, leave the bouncers. That mental discipline, which is very important. That discipline is also required is ODI also when white kookaburra swings,” reminded Laxman.

For Laxman, opening the batting has its own advantages and primary being sub-continent pitches changing character drastically as the match progresses.

Also Read | ICC announces partnership with Facebook for digital content till 2023

“Another thing that would work in his favour is opening for the first time in Indian conditions. So it is a good thing to open, when the wicket is fresh and evenly-paced and playing well. With passage of time, batting can become difficult on uneven, abrasive surfaces, It could become difficult to play reverse swing, or when the ball is spinning,” he observed.

“Rohit wants to play Test cricket and with Ajinkya (Rahane) and (Hanuma) Vihari at No’s five and six Rohit knows that his chance to do well is as an opener. He should take this positively. He has nothing to lose. For a class player like him, it is better than sitting in the bench. He has to be in that playing XI,” Laxman concluded.  

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma