Royal Challengers Bangalore batting coach Sanjay Bangar has backed India and Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma to come out of his current poor run of form ahead of the World Test Championship final next month. (More Cricket News)
Rohit was dismissed for a mere seven -- his fifth single-digit score on the trot in this IPL -- against RCB but MI had no trouble in chasing down the target of 200 with 21 balls to spare for a six-wicket win in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Rohit has been enduring a second consecutive poor IPL season with the bat, as his average plummeted to 17.36 with just 191 runs to show from 11 matches so far.
The world No. 1 India will face Australia in the WTC final at The Oval in London from June 7-11.
"He (Rohit) has been playing for such a long period of time and captaining in all formats for India and the franchisee as well, it does take an emotional toll. It is mentally taxing as well," Bangar told reporters at the post-match conference when asked about Rohit's woeful run of form.
"But he knows it, he has done it for such a long time. For the sake of Mumbai Indians and for the sake of Indian cricket, we just hope that he returns to his run-scoring normal routine.
"It is very important for us (India) that he fires and does really well in the World Test Championship final.”
Bangar, however, said he has not much input to give on Rohit's form because the only games he had seen were in the context of how the IPL has gone and how he has been dismissed.
"The time and energy a captain has to spend towards planning and strategy for a team in a tough tournament like the IPL might also have a little bit of an effect on Rohit's batting form.
"In a tournament like IPL, the energies that a captain has to spend towards planning and strategy also may have a little bit of an effect."
Bangar explained that T20 cricket makes it even more difficult for batters who are out of form to come back.
“In T20 format, you do not have the luxury of time. Because you are chasing 200, you can’t play yourself in and you have to go after the ball, from ball one, or at least try and put pressure on the opposition.
"You saw what he tried to do against (Josh) Hazlewood, he jumped out on the first ball. Normally, it is not something that you see from a batsman who is not among runs.
“But those are the demands of T20 game, if you are scoring runs and if you are in-form, then you look to catch on, but if you are not among runs, it becomes slightly difficult. You still have to make sure that your approach does not hurt the overall benefit of the team,” he explained.
MI bowler Jason Behrendorff also had positive words for his struggling captain.
“I loved the intent (which) Rohit came out with. He stepped down the wicket and took the bowlers on, which is really good to see.
"He is hitting the ball really well in the nets. It hasn’t translated often at the moment in the middle, but we know how good Rohit is, he is an absolute class player, he really needs a couple of good shots to bounce back into good form,” he said.
Bangar admitted that RCB did not compete at all in the second half of the game.
“...around the 12th over we felt that we were never really in the game and that is not something we are proud of."
He also admitted that the failure of the young Indian batters in the RCB line-up has hurt the team this season, but said they need more time.
“For us, the team was sort of built in such a way (Glenn) Maxwell, Faf (du Plessis), Virat (Kohli) and Dinesh (Karthik) were going to be the fulcrum of the batting and the younger players would play around them.
“They (young Indian batters) are progressing, not at a very good pace. Mahipal Lomror has taken his chances well, but somebody like Anuj Rawat or even Shahbaz Ahmed have unfortunately not been able to capitalise on the opportunities.
"That is the learning, you have to be patient with youngsters and it takes time. Maybe you can relate it to the example of Rinku Singh, this is his season, but he had to spend a lot of time and the kind of work KKR did with him over the last 3-4 years is now paying off,” he said.