Rohit Sharma, the cricketer forever associated with the tagline of “laced with talent”, was once touted to be the Great Sachin Tendulkar’s replacement in India’s test batting lineup at number 4. And it all made complete sense back then: having a successful first-class career, being able to hit even the fastest of the deliveries wherever he desired, have a vicious hook against short deliveries, and having a sense of “Tendulkarian” class.
However, his career has become a case of ‘ifs and buts’ since then. While no one can ever deny his inherent talent, his execution and performance leaves much to be desired.
Things have taken a turn for the better for him though. He has become more consistent in recent years, displaying his improved control with the bat and a better awareness of his off-stump.
Born on 30 April, 1987, in Nagpur, Maharashtra, he started playing cricket at a very young age. Good performances in the local circuit saw his stock rise and he soon became the talk of the town, coaches and scouts keeping an eye on his ever growing performance standards.
Things clicked for him when an in-form Yuvraj Singh was injured during the 2007 T20 World Cup. Rohit was called in as a last minute replacement to fill in the void left by Yuvraj. Any other player and would have been intimated at filling Yuvraj’s shoe, but not Rohit. He took this responsibility as a challenge and scored a fluent half-century, guiding India to a respectable total that they ultimately defended and knocking South Africa out of the tournament in their own backyard.
He became a familiar face in Indian cricket after that knock and quickly came to be pegged by many analysts as a permanent fixture in the Indian cricket team in the next decade. He made his ODI debut on 23 June 2007 against Ireland. In 2013, he started playing as an opening batsman for India ODI team and performed consistently. He scored consecutive centuries in his first two Test matches against the West Indies in November 2013, scoring 177 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on debut, followed by a score of 111* in the next Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. He played 108 ODIs before playing his maiden Test.On 13 November 2014, Rohit Sharma scored 264 against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, which is the highest individual score in ODIs. He has also scored 106 against South Africa in Twenty20 Internationals and became the second Indian to score a century in all three formats. He then became the only player in the world to score three double hundreds in ODIs.
His IPL career has also been phenomenal, with him being the first skipper to lead his team to IPL title thrice.
These performances are indicative of the talents he has and the heights they can achieve.