June 16, 2021 8:05:15 am
Former New Zealand pace spearhead Shane Bond on Tuesday recalled how the battle for the World Test Championship (WTC) final had begun months ago during IPL 2021 and revealed details of the banter between Rohit Sharma and Trent Boult during the tournament.
Speaking at a press conference organised by Star Sports ahead of the ICC World Test Championship Final, Bond, who is also the bowling coach of Mumbai Indians (MI) said that the battle between Boult and Sharma will be one of the most exciting contests to look forward to in the WTC final, especially with the backdrop of the Kiwi pacer sledging Rohit at the nets.
Sharma and Boult, who are teammates in MI, would frequently have a go at each other during the net sessions.
“Even during the IPL season, Trent boult would run in and hit him on the pad and telling him that is what will happen at the World Test Championship Final,” Bond recalled.
“They were talking about it months before which was just brilliant. They were aware that they will come up against each other,” he added.
“I love Rohit Sharma as a player and see him almost like a Matthew Hayden type of role where he goes out in difficult conditions and imposes himself. He scores fast and that instantly puts pressure on the bowler. So I cant wait for the Boult vs Sharma battle with all the banter that has been going on,” said Bond.
This will be Rohit’s first shot at opening for India in English conditions but he does have the experience of playing Tests in 2014.
Former India batsman VVS Laxman, who was also present in the press conference, spoke about how crucial Rohit will be for India especially in the first innings.
“For any opener, it’s very important to know where your off-stump is, and Rohit since the time he’s opened for Indian team the way he played against South Africa, he knew where his off-stump was, very disciplined at the start of the innings. And if that’s something Rohit can replicate in England I’m sure that he can perform well,” Laxman explained.
Describing Rohit as “an unbelievable talent”, Laxman added, “He’s a match-winner for the team. But knowing where your off-stump is and letting go the balls outside off-stump is something which Rohit requires to focus on.”
“He’s got another challenge in the form of Trent Boult who gets the ball in. He also knows that against Boult you cannot take his left leg across. he has to play as much as possible with the full face bat towards the bowler or umpire.”