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Is Rohit Sharma Really The Best In The Business While Playing The Pull Shot

Indian opening batsman Rohit Sharma has escalated a lot quicker in his international career since Champions Trophy in 2013. Known as one of the better ODI players from the current lot, his wide range of shots has helped him attain enormous success at the international a level. However, if there has been a shot that can be associated with Hitman, it has been his knack of playing the Pull Shot.

Only a few players, especially Asian batsmen, possess this skill to consistently take down fast bowlers over anything that is pitched short. However, while there are no doubts over polished skill, there arises of a question of whether he’s the best in the business while playing the Pull Shot.
We take a look at a few stats to run a deep analysis on the same:

Since April 2014, Rohit has had an average of 64.06 on playing the Pull shot. While an average above 60 is highly impressive, it is still not the best among batsmen who have scored over 200 runs during this period at the international level. Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan holds the record for best batting average – 127.33 on the Pull shot.
Since 2014, Rohit has scored 24.6% of his runs through the pull shot. He also boasts of a staggering strike rate of 264.6 – which is the best among the batsmen in consideration. However, Rohit has been dismissed 15 times while attempting the pull since 2014. What is even more intriguing that Shikhar Dhawan, who takes the sixth spot in the list with an average of 68.12, is ranked higher than his ODI batting partner.

A shot proves to be effective only when it fetches a batsman enough runs. While for the 33-year old, his pull shot has fetched him 961 runs – 364 more than the next best batsman, this has also been one of his key mode of dismissals. He has been dismissed on 15 occasions, which is 22.4% of his dismissals against pace or medium pace.
This, at times, has worked against his cause. Nearly every fifth dismissal for the Indian opener against pace is plotted while playing the pull shot. While for someone like Dilshan, who scored 23% of his runs off the pull shot, had a dismissal percentage of only 9.7 for those shots.
We might even arrive at a conclusion that despite someone who looks as good as Rohit Sharma while playing the hook or the pull, the numbers reveal a different story. There’s no doubt that the Mumbaikar has scored most runs since 2014, but he can’t be simply regarded as the best when players who have stats to support the reasoning.

(Stat Courtesy: ESPNCricinfo)

Kartik Bansal

An avid cricket follower

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