A journey of ups and downs: 15 Years of Ro 'Hitman' Sharma

A Datar

A Datar

Author| Jun 23, 10:05 AM

PC: Twitter
PC: Twitter

It seems somewhat surreal, but as of the 23rd of June 2022, Rohit Sharma, the extravagant Indian opener, has completed 15 years playing for the Indian Cricket Team. 

Rohit Sharma is a household name when it comes to limited-overs cricket of the modern era, and his place is unquestionable in any fan’s Dream Team. Rohit is also slowly cementing his place in the Test side after successful stints in Australia & England. So, where was Rohit Sharma all these years across the different formats? 

Believe it or not, Rohit Sharma turned 35 in April 2022, and we might see him around only for the next couple of years. However, as he completes 15 glorious years of donning the Indian jersey, one can only question why he only made his mark on the national team after 2013.

Until 2013, the adjectives used for the right-handed Indian opener were Talented, Inconsistent, Unlucky, Injury-prone, Careless, and sometimes too young. In simpler words, all adjectives had negative connotations attached to them. 

So let’s go down the memory lane. 

Rohit Sharma’s debuted in a ODI game against Ireland in 2007. Following this, he was part of the Indian Squad in the inaugural T20 World Cup and registered more than decent performances batting relatively down the order. Rohit batted in the lower-middle order for the first six years of his career as stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, and Gautam Gambhir were immovable at the top of the order in limited-overs cricket.

It was only in 2013, when advised and promoted by MS Dhoni, that Rohit Sharma started opening the batting innings in limited-overs cricket, and as they say, the rest is history. 

Rohit Sharma established himself as one of the most prolific openers of the modern cricketing era. 

Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, his opening partner, and Virat Kohli at number 3 have delivered many unforgettable batting displays over the years. Probably a reason why cricketing fans may consider 2013 the year when Rohit Sharma made his debut. In the 2019 Men’s Cricket World Cup, Rohit Sharma set a record by notching up five centuries in a single edition of the World Cup.

Rohit made his Test Debut in 2013 against West Indies. It was the same series when Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar decided to hang up his boots. The Indian legend passed the baton down but Rohit Sharma’s resurgence was only visible consistently after 2020.

Sharma has played over 44 Tests for the Indian team scoring 3137 runs at an average of 46 runs. However, Rohit developed a reputation of gifting his wicket cheaply and playing rash shots at crucial junctures. Nevertheless, despite struggling against swing bowlers, Sharma has fared excellently in the recent away tours of Australia and England.

After completing 15 years in Indian Cricket, we will witness Rohit Sharma in a new avatar. We have seen glimpses of his captaincy every now and then, but Sharma is going to be the full-time captain of the Indian Cricket Team across all three formats from the 1st of July. 

On the captaincy front, Sharma happens to be the most successful captain in the Indian Premier League, winning the league five times with Mumbai Indians in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020.

With 3 ICC Trophies coming up in 17 months, it’s an uphill task for Rohit Sharma to lead the side and handle the pressure in clutch situations. Recently, India have choked for many reasons in the ICC World Cup 2019, World Test Championship Final, and the T20 World Cup.

What remains to be seen is whether Rohit and Co can go full throttle for the next 17 months and lift the silverware Indians have been waiting for since 2013.

As the Mumbai Ranji Team takes on Madhya Pradesh on Day 2 in the Ranji Trophy Final, Mumbai’s beloved batter completes 15 years donning the Indian Jersey and taking up responsibility as the captain till at least December 2023.

  • Rohit Sharma
  • IND

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