A look at the career of Rohit Sharma so far
Updated - Dec 1, 2014 10:17 am
A look at the career of Rohit Sharma so far: Rohit Sharma is the only man on planet to hit two double hundreds in ODI’s, has the highest individual score in One Day International cricket, and if that’s not enough the lad also holds the record of hitting the highest number of sixes and fours in a ODI inning yet he is not termed as the best batsman of his country by connoisseur’s. If people believed his innings of 209 against Australia last November at the Chinnaswamy Swamy stadium was a flash in the pan he staggered one and all yet again with another superlative effort at the Edens this November amidst achieving all this landmark last year as an opener though his captain MS Dhoni and opening partner Shikhar Dhawan believe Ajinkya Rahane is a notch above than him as an opener and in all likelihood will be preferred over Rohit for the opening slot in the World Cup. Ladies and gentleman this is the curious case of Rohit Sharma.
Let’s cast your mind back to the 19th of September 2007; Men in blue were tottering at 33-3 on a Kingsmead Durban pitch which was posing all sorts of questions to the batsman in a virtual Quarter Final game of T-20 world cup against the mighty South Africans. Yuvraj Singh, The six maestro, and the hero of the last match was injured and the ravishing opening pair of Virendra Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir was back in the dugout.
In came an eye-catching 20-year-old man on debut Rohit Sharma who was not in the mood to capitulate and smashed India out of the trouble. He ended the innings on 50*and took India to a winning score from a devastating one. The guile and the composure shown by him under the circumstances of extreme pressure was second to none and the ample time which he had to play his strokes magnetized many cricket proficient around the world. It seemed a new INDIAN BATTING SENSATION of Generation Next WAS BORN.
In the days to come he was compared with some best batsman around and was touted to take the illustrious MUMBAIKARS legacy of Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar and Sachin Tendulkar forward. However there was a bumpy ride ahead for Rohit as failures started visiting him more often than success at the international level.
Rohit Vs Raina Vs Virat
Prior to the 2011 World Cup there was a stiff competition between Suresh Raina and Rohit for a place in the side and initially Rohit was marginally ahead but Suresh with his consistent performance in Indian jersey overtook him. In 2008 Virat Kohli made his debut for India, he was junior to Rohit but within the next couple of years, Virat cemented his place in the side whereas Rohit was still struggling for a spot. Both Suresh and Virat played a vital role in India’s World Cup triumph whereas dejected Rohit watched all these sitting in his drawing-room. His desperation to be a part of India’s World Cup squad was on display when he was even seen keeping wickets for Mumbai in the few domestic matches leading up to the world cup but his performance weren’t good enough to earn him a place in the 2011 World Cup squad.
Then came the lowest point of his career when his performance hit abysmally low in the tour of Srilanka. He managed to score 5,0,0,4,4 in the 5 match series. He faced criticism from every nook and corner. Questions were raised over his utterly casual and lackluster attitude and he was even termed as a ‘perennial underachiever’ of Indian cricket albeit this poor phase did not make team management and categorically skipper MS Dhoni loose trust in his adroitness infact at times captain was ridiculed for backing him vigorously.
THE TURNING POINT
Sehwag and Gambhir’s consistent failures meant India had to look for a different opening combination. Team management put faith on Rohit for the opening job and he embraced in an immaculate fashion with a sumptuous 82 runs which guided the team to victory against England at Mohali. This knock reinvigorated Rohit and there was no looking back from then. Shikhar and his opening combination was the stellar reason behind India’s success in the Champions Trophy and within a span of one year this pair was among the best opening combinations in the world.
November last year, came the pinnacle point of Rohit’s career. He became the third man in the history of international ODI’s to score a double hundred and made a remarkable 177 on his test debut when team was in a spot of bother. It seemed Rohit has finally come off age and the child prodigy is converting his prowess into something substantial, but just when fans started hailing him he disappointed again. His performance on the tour of South Africa and New Zealand was pedestrian which meant he had to lose his test place to Mumbai counterpart Rahane but his innings of 264* captured the imaginations of one and all around the world and once again restored the faith in him. Whether he opens or bats in middle order he will be an imperative player for India in the coming World Cup.
Rohit’s itinerary thus far has been an epitome of a roller-coaster ride. His performance at times has been astronomically high and other times abysmally low. Currently he seems to be a man of two extremes either he will blow you apart with his prowess or he will make you scorn him with his laid-back attitude. He is one of his kind in the way that in spite having hit two double hundreds in his career but his average is still not touching 40’s . Hope this mind boggling knock of 264 will inspire him to do many great things and we will get to see more miracles in the years to come from this immensely talented individual.