Opinion: Rohit Sharma is the best limited-overs opener in the world right now
Rohit Sharma gave Indian fans an early Diwali gift by virtue of the 61-ball 111 he scored against the West Indies in the second T20I held at the Atal Behari Vajpayee Ekana International Stadium in Lucknow. It was limited-overs batting at its best and something that was phenomenal and awe-inspiring.
The West Indians were pathetic and one expected better from them, at least in the format that they were crowned world champions in 2016. Carlos Brathwaite and his men were sub-standard but Rohit Sharma and other Indian batsmen were brilliant in their own right too. Sharma didn't need a partner the way he was going but Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul provided little contributions which helped the Indian total get to 195.
Admitted that this was a T20 International and the opposition was below par, but Sharma's batting was dazzling. This just goes to show how dangerous he can be in limited overs cricket if he gets to bat at the top of the order. Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni must deserve a little bit of credit here as it was him who gave Sharma his first opportunity as an opener in white-ball cricket. The latter has repaid the former's faith in him and shown that in limited-overs cricket at least, his talent has merged with performance.
Rohit Sharma the Test cricketer was given a new lease of life when he was picked for the Australian tour this winter but it is in limited-overs cricket that he has been at his best. On Tuesday, he became the first batsman in the world to score four T20 International hundreds of which 3 have come in the last twelve months.
India needs to continue backing Sharma as an opener in One-day and T20 cricket as this is where he performs at his best. Given the hard, new ball to face in conditions ideally suited for batting (what with the powerplays in effect and huge sizes of bats) Sharma is a nightmare for the opposition bowlers when on song.
On Tuesday he showed how deadly he can be and it is a given fact now that he is the best limited-overs opener in the world.