'Shot selection not the greatest' - Shastri takes aim at Rohit Sharma amidst ongoing run-drought

The former India head coach lashed out at MI skipper's continuous poor showings in the IPL 2023 after latest failure versus RCB. 
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As Rohit Sharma's downward spiral in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) continued on Wednesday (May 9) night, former India head coach Ravi Shastri picked out the chink in the batter's armoury which keeps taming the beast inside him. 

For Shastri, the "shot selection" has been way off with Rohit in IPL 2023 as the Mumbai Indians (MI) opener goes from one major failure at the top to another at a delicate stage of the competition. When the five-time champions desperately need their skipper to be on song, he has managed just 191 runs in his 11 innings of the tournament with a strike-rate below 127. 

The latest innings reinforced Rohit Sharma's struggles. On a flat pitch where the rest of the MI batting line-up came to produce the goods and scaled Royal Challengers Bangalore's (RCB) intimidating score of 199/6 with three and a half overs remaining, the captain meandered along for an unconvincing 8-ball 7. 

After publicly expressing his desire to play the aggressor, Rohit has found it difficult to retain a good balance with his game, unable to adhere to the rigours of the strenuous job in the back half of his thirties. Shastri said he is aware of the new avatar donned by the elegant batter but urged the 36-year-old to take more time in the middle and focus on his shot selection. 

Shastri calls out Rohit Sharma's 'shot selection' 

Shastri reckons it's important for Rohit Sharma to go back to basics and do what he does best: take his time up at the top and explode later in the innings. Not just Shastri, many prominent voices on the outside believe it's since when the batter has shed this traditional avatar of his, he hasn't been as prolific as before. 

Also Read - 'No Hit Sharma.. wouldn't play him in Mumbai XI' - Former Indian cricketer lashes out at Rohit Sharma

"I think give yourself a little bit more time. His shot selection is not the greatest. He mentioned he has a different role to play. But give yourself that little bit more time, his great strength is his ability to play cricketing shots and he has more time than a lot of players in the world when it comes to playing the quicks," Shastri told 'Star Sports. 

"Back your strength, don't try and be too cute too early. You have got all the shots in the book, you can make up later on. Just a little bit more time in the first 6 balls or so. Play more cricketing shots rather than trying to improvise early on," he added. 

Either way, Rohit needs to pull his socks quickly or continue to hold a costly presence for MI at the top. Only a sporadic performer for the five-time champions, the skipper has an insipid record in the IPL over the past seven seasons now, averaging just about par with 24 and a strike-rate hovering only above 126 since the beginning of IPL 2017.