Rohit Sharma a.k.a HITMAN is now a renowned and established name in international circuit. Rohit Sharma, a man who made a reputation for himself before his first steps in the international grind. Rohit from his early days was considered as one of very few batsmen who had the gift of that innate grace which made everyone in awe of his game play.
Rohit – “The Talent”
Rohit was always rated very high by the cricket fraternity for his natural and unmatched timing of the cricket ball. Whether be a classical drive or a muscled pull, it always pleases the viewers. Rohit is always considered to have an ‘extra second’ and had plenty of time to negate the extra bounce which made him a technically sound player. His front foot pull shots exhibits the kind of extravagance he possess.
Troubling tale of ‘The Lazy Elegance’ - Rohit had his ups and downs in the career pre 2012 era. Rohit debuted against Ireland in 2007. Rohit was inconsistent, and his technique came into question of many, the dismissals of pushing the balls outside the off stump and poor shot selections only dismantled his reputation. He was easy on eyes and his shots were elegant, but out of nowhere, he used to play a rash shot, costing his wicket. The habit of throwing away his wicket at crucial junctures left his supporters, his critics and everyone else frustrated. From his T20 debut against South Africa in World T20 2007 to getting dropped several times until 2011 World Cup weakened his case of getting into Indian setup. The swashbuckling opener now, had a paltry Average of 30.43 and Strike Rate of 77.93 and only 2 hundreds in his kitty of 81 innings back then, clearly unjustified with the skills he possessed. The below par performances and his diminished numbers before 2012 Rohit didn’t held up to the expectations. His below par performance made him into social media meme and the word talent on his case only brought some brutal trolling on his side from social media.
THE GAME CHANGER
In series of the events of getting IN and OUT became a common settlement of Rohit’s career until the Maestro’s like MS Dhoni and Ricky Ponting came to the rescue. They gave him a long rope and Rohit still had more off days than better ones. Time was running out for the Mumbaikar, and then came a period after the 2011 World Cup where openers like Virendra Sehwag , Gautam Gambhir well past their primes failed to carry the expectations of selectors and the opening slot became a spot to be filled in. Rohit always had the courage, ability and sense of picking the fast bowlers as early as anybody, to attack the new ball and somebody who could take on the short stuff were definitely great factors which determines a good opening batsman and MS Dhoni realized this and threw him into to the fray to open the innings with Shikhar Dhawan. The set pattern was something like as Shikhar was a lot more flamboyant and hence expected to be aggressive where Rohit Sharma gave a lot more stability and both became a great pair to be dealt with. Rohit became a lot more consistent and the dividends of making him the opener started to pay off.
The FLOURISH and The Rise of HITMAN -
Rohit completely shut of his critics and went all guns blazing in the IPL and made 538 runs with average of 38.42 and SR of 131.54 and lead Mumbai Indians to their f irst IPL title after Ricky Ponting decided to drop himself and was designated as the captain by the management. Rohit did not looked back since then, The International flourish came against the home series against Australia, the series remembered for high scoring games. The name Rohit became HITMAN after the special 200 at Bangalore. Rohit began to convert and did it like nobody else, now Rohit began to produce “daddy hundreds” against oppositions and deflated their confidence and bat for long hours. He finished his 2013 with 1196 runs including an astonishing double hundred against Australia. In 2014, a year affected by injuries, Rohit had 12 innings but scored an impressive 578, the massive contribution of brutal 264 of which came against Sri Lanka in a world-record smashing innings in Kolkata. In 2015, Rohit became an established player in the Indian set up and his 815 runs from 17 innings included a classic hundred against Bangladesh in the World Cup quarterfinals. India did not play a lot of limited overs cricket in 2016 but he still f inished with 564 and was on song in the series against Australia. In 2017, Rohit has matched Virat shot for shot, smashing 1076 runs including five hundreds from only 18 matches. Rohit holds some records which may remain unbeatable like 16 SIXES in an innings and most boundaries 32 in an innings. He also the record of the highest score in ODIs -264.
A Great planner of inning-
His scoring pattern through the 50 overs of an innings shows how well he has grasped the art of pacing an innings and changing gears. He starts slowly, scoring at a strike rate of less than 70 through the first ten overs, and then gradually picks it up to above 80 through the middle overs. Then there is a sudden burst from the 28th over, when he starts converting at more than a run a ball, as compared to around five runs per over in the period before that. From the 44th, he goes into spurt, scoring an average of more than 10 an over in the last seven overs. His strike rate during that period is a hefty 254, which depicts clearly that how well he makes extraordinary use of having spent so much time at the crease prior to those final overs.
ROHIT - The Leader
Rohit and his captaincy skills are far greater than impressive and the numbers boldly make a case for it. Rohit since his first stint as captain has not only plundered big runs till now but have been a vital cog in finding some unmatched players for India like Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya from his captaincy stints at Mumbai Indians. Rohit have emerged a lot bigger by guiding Mumbai Indians to 3 IPL titles. The man have an unbeatable record in the finals he played as a captain and having 100% win percentage in all the 3 he played. Rohit has an incredible no. of winning 8 knockout games out of 11.
Rohit has been a part of pressurized and the games that need nerves to get hold of situations and dodged most of the tough times on and off field. Considerably he has passed in more than given situations and proven himself as a great leader leaving behind the greats like MS Dhoni in win loss percentage in the IPL. The only question to be asked now on the critics’ point of view is that Can Rohit Sharma lead Team INDIA to higher grounds with his IPL experience in the international circuit? The answer to that question will definitely be available when Rohit takes on Sri Lanka in his first captaincy stint in international arena due to the absence of regular Captain Virat Kohli. Rohit will become the 24th player to Captain Team INDIA and 7th Mumbaikar. Rohit has now become a compact package of talent and consistency which are expected of batsman of his caliber. The future of Team India appears to be on the safe hands of Rohit Sharma with the perseverance, ability one has got with the honors he have earned for the Indian cricket.