Rohit Sharma: Hit-Man on a hitting spree
"When he hits, he hits hard." The line, as cliched as it is, fits well for Indian Batsman Rohit Sharma. Popularly known as "Hit-Man" among his huge fan following, Rohit scored his fourth T20I century at Lucknow in the second T20I in the ongoing series against West Indies on November 6, 2018.
Opening the batting for India after being sent to bat first by Windies Captain Carlos Brathwaite, Rohit first shared a rapid opening partnership of 123 with Shikhar Dhawan and then dominated the unbeaten 62-run fourth wicket partnership with KL Rahul to take India's total to 195. The knock of unbeaten 111 not only helped India win the match but also broke the tie Rohit shared with New Zealand batsman Colin Munro to become the sole owner of the most number of centuries in the shortest format of the game.
Topping the charts in T20Is
Since his International debut in 2007, though talented enough to play in all the formats, he has pressed his stamp of authority firm in the shorter versions of the game. Especially in the T20 format, he has emerged as the batsman par excellence both in IPL and International levels.
In 2018 itself, till the match of November 6th, he has scored 556 runs in 15 T20I innings with an impressive average of 42.76 and a mind-blowing strike rate of over 150. He had gone past the score of 50 five times including two hundreds in the span of three T20I matches.
His latest three-figure mark helped him jump few places up to stand just next to New Zealand's Martin Guptill in the list of most career runs in the shortest format at International level.
Mastering the art of scoring Daddy Hundreds
Rohit has a great appetite for big scores in ODIs as well! Even after having three scores of above 200 in his kitty, there is no reduction in his penchant as well as intensity when it comes to scoring big hundreds (scores of 150+ are popularly classified as daddy hundreds) for India.
In the recently concluded five-match ODI series against Windies, he scored an unbeaten 152 in the first ODI in chasing down the big total of 322. And then he followed it up with a whirlwind 162 in the fourth ODI to help India post a mammoth 377 which proved enough to bring down the spirits of opponents for the rest of the series which India sealed comfortably 3-1.
Those two knocks took his tally of daddy hundreds to 7 which is the most by any batsman in ODIs. He now has 21 ODI hundreds to his credit which means every third time he produces a three-figure mark in ODIs, he makes it bigger by stretching it past 150!
In the calendar year of 2018 itself, he has gone past 100 run mark five times, which have propelled him to the total of 1030 runs for the year in just 19 matches, with an impressive average of above 73.
Captain in the making
Rohit is not new to captaincy as he has already led his Mumbai Indians team to lift the IPL trophy three times. But since December 2017, he has got chances to lead Team India in five full series in shorter formats including the prestigious Asia Cup 2018. Standing in for regular captain Virat Kohli, Rohit has made the most of all the chances he had received so far by registering victories in all those five series including the ongoing T20I series against Windies.
With still one more T20I series to go in 2018 which will be played in Australia, Rohit would be definitely looking to continue his "Hit-Man" form in order to sign-off this year on a greater high. These are very good signs for Indian Cricket before ICC World Cup 2019.