Rohit Sharma: In a class of his own
This 23 year old youngster is on an unstoppable rampage in the ongoing Zimbabwe tri-series. With two back-to-back centuries in his kitty already, Rohit Sharma is proving all his critics wrong. Scoring tons in two consecutive games, that too in one-day internationals is not an easy job, but Rohit has done it effectively. At a point when almost all the senior players of the side are missing from the playing XI, this shining star is giving the Indian fans a reason to watch the game, at least. Cheering comes much later! He is someone who reminds us of the very graceful VVS Laxman, whose classy and elegant stroke play saw him become one of India’s stylish player of all times. A replica of Laxman can be seen in Sharma’s batting. With an excellent wrist work and the ability to find the perfect gaps, he is certainly a boon to the Indian cricket team.
Despite coming to the team’s rescue now and on several occasions in the past, this right-handed middle-order batsman and an occasional off-break spinner has not been able to cement his position permanently in the Indian side. Various reasons can be attributed to this. First of all, there has been a certain inconsistency in his batting over the years of International cricket that he has played. He has failed to convert his class into a much needed long innings. Maybe it’s too early to decide on that, considering that he debuted just 3 years ago. But, looking at his performance in domestic cricket, one cannot completely brush aside his talent. Playing in the Deodhar trophy brought him into the limelight in 2006. Also, his performance in the 2006-2007 Ranji Trophy and the 2006 U-19 World Cup was impressive. His triple ton in the 2009 Ranji Trophy final was good enough to bring him back to the ODI team.
His poor form on the international circuit compelled the selectors to look for replacements. This gradual downturn gave the current stand in Indian captain Suresh Raina a chance in the middle order. Eventually, Virat Kohli took his position as the reserve batsman. An important reason why Sharma has failed at times despite being given the opportunities to perform could be his shuffling in the batting line-up. Much to everyone’s surprise, he has opened the batting for India and has also batted at almost all the levels ranging from no. 3 to no. 8. Such a shift is quite likely to disturb his performance as a settled middle-order batsman, which should not be the case for someone who is comfortable playing where he always does.
Interestingly, when he was axed from the national side after a slump in form, Rohit had one person to mentor him and provide backing. Sharma believes Yuvraj Singh has been a tremendous force of influence and has made him mentally stronger and an aggressive batsman, which can also be the reason why Sharma was the second highest run-getter for the Deccan Chargers in IPL 2010, scoring 404 runs from 16 games.
Sharma is yet to debut in tests and prove his worth in the longer version of the game. An orthodox player of shots (which is a rare sight these days with the coming of IPL); he seems to be Team India’s promising future!