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26.8.09

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There is nothing going in favour of Rohit Sharma right now. Owing to bad form, the talented middle-order bat from Mumbai has been axed
Rohit from the ODI side that would be touring Sri Lanka for a tri-series and the Champions Trophy after that.

Worse, a shoulder injury has ruled him out of the Corporate Trophy, which begins from September 1. On Tuesday, it was announced that Rohit had been replaced by Siddhesh Lad, who is ironically the son of the star bat's coach, in the Indian Oil team. "I suffered the injury while fielding in a game in the Buchi Babu tournament. I went to the National Cricket Academy, where I was told to rest for four to six weeks," Rohit told TOI on Tuesday.

More than bad form, it is the questions being raised about his technique against the short ball that have hurt the youngster's prospects. "When I was hitting sixes off short deliveries, then nobody said anything," Rohit said. "I am disappointed, but determined to win my place back in the team through good performances in the Champions League and the Irani Trophy," he stressed.

There is one man in Team India who vouches that the boy from Borivli will emerge from this mess. Harbhajan Singh feels Rohit is nothing short of the next Rahul Dravid.

"There are very few batsmen I have seen who are as talented as Rohit. He has a very, very sound technique. In fact, he could be the next Dravid," Harbhajan told TOI on Tuesday. But isn't he vulnerable against the short ball? "Every batsman gets caught in the slips or perishes to a bouncer. Even Sachin Tendulkar gets bowled. That doesn't make him any less a player," Bhajji retorted.

So then, was the drop justified? "Kabhi kabhi aise jhatke chahiye hote hain. (You need shocks like these). He'll learn from this and come back a much, much better player, and then he should play in a way that his spot in the team is secured for the next ten years," reasons Harbhajan.

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