Perception Management

There is no doubt in my mind that among the youngsters who will dominate the Indian batting line-up in the future Rohit Sharma is the guy to watch out for. If I have to define talent in this Indian team, I’d direct you all to him.

Here is the problem though. Ganguly retired in 2008. Mukund, M Vijay, Pujara, Raina, Kohli, Badri all made their tests debuts post Ganguly’s retirement. Barring M Vijay who debuted in 2008, the rest made their debuts 2010 onwards.

Rohit made his ODI debut in 2007; among the above, only Raina hit the ODI scene before him. Kohli made his debut after Rohit and cemented his place in the ODI squad first. He then became the obvious choice for No6 bat in tests when Yuvi and Raina failed to make it their own and Pujara got injured.

There is this huge talk about how grave injustice has been done by not giving Rohit a single test chance when others have got a lot more chances and about how ODI performance should not determine a test place – I agree to the latter not the former. Why was Rohit overlooked in that period when 4 middle-order bats were tried out?

The problem was – With the big 4 hogging the middle order for over a decade how was one supposed to announce his arrival? The only way to show you were ready to take their place was by performing at an international level. “A” tours would’ve been ideal – but the reality was that they were not held enough.  So what should’ve have been your next move? Grab every opportunity you get , cause unfortunately and whether you like it or not – how you performed in the ODIs (that you got to play when you were not getting a breakthrough in tests) would’ve have helped in some manner  to build the confidence of selectors and team management in you.

Rohit wasted 3 crucial years cementing his place in the ODI squad ( he still hasn’t) and as a result did not earn a WC place – a place that should have been rightfully his.

Every time Rohit comes to bat I feel he is going to get a big score but somewhere I know the lad is going to bring out his  Mr. “Inconsistent” Hyde and gift his wicket. Every time Virat starts with a strike rate of 50, I think he looks edgy but deep down I know he is going to build his innings and play it out till the end like he has done in the last 2 years.

In my opinion along with his inconsistency Rohit suffers with a perception management problem. He gives his management the impression that he is just plain lazy, that he does not know how to grind it out in the middle and take responsibility despite being the most gifted.

Kohli on the other hand knows he is not half as talented as Rohit is; but has built up a perception to his management that he is their go-to-guy and he will do the task no matter what.

When faced with the same challenges and given their talent or capabilities – we all know Rohit should be excelling and getting the promotions on the job, but the fact is that he is not.

And that is not Kohli’s problem, it is Rohit’s!