Teams Played For
India, Deccan Chargers, India A, India Green, India U19, Mumbai, Mumbai Indians, Indians, India Blue, Board Presidents XI
One of the world’s best batsmen and the most successful IPL captain at the time of writing, Rohit Sharma is a global cricketing star these days. Until seven years ago, Rohit was just a prodigious talent for around four to five years. Such was his talent and the combined inconsistency that the player himself started to dislike the word.
It wasn’t like the Nagpur-born batsman hadn’t achieved anything substantial until 2013. He had already been part of the Indian squad that went onto win the WT20 in 2007 and that lifted the Commonwealth Bank series title in 2008. In terms of his personal performances, Rohit made a solid impact in the Super 8 match against South Africa and also the first final of the CB series against Australia. However, these performances seemed far and few in between as Rohit Sharma lost his spots to Suresh Raina and another prodigious talent in the form of Virat Kohli.
Some good form in domestic cricket brought about a national team recall with Rohit going on to score his maiden ODI century against Zimbabwe in 2010. He could have had a Test cap in the same year but unfortunately, an injury suffered during a football session before the Nagpur Test against South Africa saw the Mumbaikar being ruled out of the match. If that wasn’t enough, he suffered a slump in form in ODI cricket once again and missed out on the 2011 ICC World Cup squad. The then 23-year-old expressed his obvious disappointment of missing out on the World Cup squad on social media.
Post the victorious World Cup campaign, Rohit got a chance to tour the West Indies with several of the main-stays being rested due to a grueling previous few months which saw the IPL being played a few days after the 2011 World Cup final. Rohit did well in that series by bagging the ‘Man of the Series’ award but he couldn’t continue the impressive performances for long. A bad 2012 saw his place come under scrutiny once again. Things got worse as the ODI series against Sri Lanka saw him score only nine runs in five matches.
Just when no one expected Rohit to feature in the Indian team for some time, Virender Sehwag and Ajinkya Rahane’s poor performances against Pakistan and England later on provided him a lifeline as the ex-Indian team skipper MS Dhoni gave an opportunity to open in the 4th ODI against England. Rohit scored 83 off 93 balls and there has been no turning back since then. He forged a fantastic opening combo with Shikhar Dhawan to help India lift the 2013 Champions Trophy. A few months later, Rohit plundered 491 runs in six innings in what was a high-scoring ODI series against Australia. More importantly, the last match of that series saw him score the first of his three double hundreds in ODI cricket, a feat none has achieved so far.
In the same year, he made his much-awaited Test debut against West Indies in a series that is known mostly for being ‘Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell series’. He made two hundred in those two Test matches and made a fantastic introduction to the longest format of the game. Although his Test performances in overseas conditions dipped in the following years, Rohit only grew as a limited-overs batsman.
Rohit’s outstanding consistency can’t be reflected better than the fact he was named in the ICC ODI ‘Team of the Year’ for five consecutive seasons between 2014-2020.
He also opened in style during the World T20s of 2014 and 2016, and performed sizzlingly in the 2015 World Cup. In 2018, India won their seventh Asia Cup title under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy.
However, the year 2019 was probably Rohit's best as he smashed five hundreds in the ICC World Cup in England. Such form meant that he bagged both the ‘ICC ODI Player of the Year’ award and also the prestigious ‘Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna’ award in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Post the World Cup, Rohit found yet another version of himself in Test Cricket after being asked to open for the first time in the home series against South Africa. He took a liking to open in the longest format too by scoring twin centuries in the first Test and then followed it up with a double hundred at Ranchi. Since then, there has been Rohit’s much-awaited comeback in the longest format. He played a pivotal role in the last two Tests in the historic series win over Australia in 2020-21 Down Under and backed it up with performances versus England at home.
In terms of the IPL too, it would be wrong to say that Rohit and Mumbai Indians’ best days started when he led the side to a maiden IPL title in 2013. Fast forward to 2021 and Mumbai is the most successful IPL side with five Championships.
As of 2021, Rohit has already achieved a lot. After averaging 30.43 as a fledgling middle-order batsman before the 4th ODI against England in 2013, Rohit is now an opener who averages nearly 50 and has already done what most cricketers envy to achieve in their whole career.
With at least 3-4 years to go in his International career, it would be safe to say that Rohit can fully establish himself as one of the all-time Indian batsmen in limited-overs cricket if he isn’t one already. However, his true desire would be to make India win an ICC trophy with his bat, and with four ICC titles coming in the next three years; Rohit and India could fancy their chances.
(As of March 2021)