Manjrekar made this statement following Rohit’s impressive performance, scoring 56 runs off 49 deliveries against Pakistan in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup in Colombo on Sunday.Rohit himself has acknowledged his desire to return to the mindset that contributed to his success in 2019, even before the start of the Asia Cup.
However, it’s worth noting that since the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup, Rohit has registered only three centuries in ODIs. Additionally, he has faced instances where he could not convert half-centuries into three-figure scores on eight occasions.
“He got five centuries in the last World Cup, right? My assessment of Rohit Sharma is that his defence has actually gotten much better. He is a much better Test player now than he was in 2019. So, I have no issues,” Manjrekar said while talking to Star Sports during the rain-forced break.
Rohit hit four sixes and six boundaries as he looked solid before throwing his wicket away with a loose shot against leg-spinner Shadab Khan in the 17th over, ending a 121-run opening stand with Shubman Gill.
“I was absolutely not surprised with the defence he showed today against Naseem Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi. It’s about converting those starts into big hundreds because that involves running a lot of 1s and 2s later on in the innings,” said Manjrekar.
“Today, he got out after fifty. Even earlier in the season, there were occasions when he got past his fifty and looked good.
“Only time will tell whether he would be able to replicate that. But, on the pure quality of defence, Rohit is better today. That natural ability to hit the big shots is still there. The question is whether he can bring that all together to hit 5 hundred, 4 hundred, or 3. That time will tell,” he concluded.
(With IANS inputs)