Rohit Sharma is overrated... or is he?
Rohit Sharma divides opinion like a few other Indian players, so this is an attempt to settle it all.
Wait. This is going to be a long read, so you might as well click here and begin listening to this long & beautiful musical masterpiece before you start reading this.
Okay, ready? Let’s get this started, shall we?
The fun part of being on Facebook is that it not only allows us to keep old contacts in our friends list and never ever look them up to know how they are doing, but it also lets us witness the opinions of other people in the rawest format.
It’s like a .dll files library of people’s opinions, so raw that Gordon Ramsey would have had a field day dealing with it.
These days, the internet rages with topics like harassment of women, Donald Trump, more harassment issues, more Donald Trump, Kevin Spacey coming out of a closet while opening a can of worms, more Donald Trump insanity, some more issues about the objectification of women (you following a pattern here?)...
And Rohit Freaking Sharma.
Whenever India play, the social media site – and my homepage in particular – is cloaked with opinions about the Mumbai Indians captain. It is basically a ‘for’ and ‘against’ war going out there concerning the Indian opener.
To some, he is the best opening batsman the team has had since the departure of Sachin Tendulkar, while for some others, he is just as unnecessary as hiring a DJ in a marriage ceremony to play music and entertain the usually 50+ years-old South Asian men and women.
While I know that this pro and anti Sharma debate will keep raging on, I have decided to do something about it via this article. The foundations of this article are going to be stats and only stats – the inference part will be read up to the reader – while the format will be questionnaire type where I list down the claims of the anti-Rohit brigade and try to answer them serially.
So, for the second time, shall we begin?
Claim #1: Rohit Sharma is a flat-track bully
Well, of course, he is! Yes, I just inferred without actually presenting any stats – who would read a drab and boring stats-only article anyway? – but even the stats say the same. For this piece, I will consider stats from 2013 because of the fact that Sharma has been in optimum form in the ODIs since that time. Also, five years is a lot of time - enough for someone to be considered overrated or vice versa.
At home in India, where most pitches are flat decks, Rohit Sharma has been fabulous. His average stands at a staggering 61.64 in 37 innings. In that time, he has scored 2096 runs – about one-thirds of his career aggregate of 6207 runs – and has scored 6 centuries and 10 half-centuries.
So it is safe to say that Rohit Sharma is a lion in his own home – he is indeed a flat-track bully.
Claim #2: Rohit Sharma struggles on foreign soil
Away from home, on difficult batting conditions, Rohit Sharma, doesn’t have a good record – or so say the anti-Rohit machos. For this category, four countries have been chosen: South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand – countries where the real skills and temperament of a batsman are tested to the fullest. These countries are to batsmen what an auto-tune-less environment is for new-age musicians: a real test.
In Australia and New Zealand, he has a combined average of 62 from 19 innings, with 1054 runs under his belt coupled with four fifties and hundred each. Now that must have taken aback a lot of anti-Rohit people, but it is true – Google is just a click away, fellas.
Indeed, even Virat Kohli falls comfortably short with 1001 runs from 22 innings with an average of 52.68 in the same time-frame and same countries. Sharma-ji ka beta (son of Mr. Sharma) must be something after all, eh?
Even in England, Sharma-ji ka beta reigns supreme. He averages 53.30 in the 11 innings that he has played in England and has scored 533 runs in the process with a century and five 50s under his belt.
South Africa, however, has been an unfortunate place and opposition for him. With an average of 18.50, he doesn’t do anyone proud except for his haters, who are probably revelling at this stat right now. But here’s the catch: he has batted only twice on South African soil – which is definitely not enough to stamp any sort of conclusion.
His overall record against South Africa is 369 runs from 10 innings at an average of 36.90, which is just about decent.
Claim #3: Rohit Sharma fades while batting second
This is where things get interesting and now is your cue to fasten your seat belt if you’re reading this whilst travelling (as amazing as this analysis is, we do NOT endorse reading while driving).
At home, Rohit Sharma has batted second 19 times since 2013, scoring 991 runs with an average of 58.29 while also scoring three centuries and 6 half-centuries. But well, he is a flat-track tormentor, so batting second doesn’t really make much of a difference for this beast of a bully.
However, batting second in Australia and New Zealand doesn’t have the same effect for our dear Sharma. In 11 innings, he has scored 384 runs at an average of 38.40 – which is significantly less than his batting average of 56.38 in the last four years exclusively – but scoring at close to 40 while batting second doesn’t exactly make him a Mongolian fourth division batsman.
I like extra cheese, mayonnaise, patty and extra everything in my burger, so I will provide you with something extra as well: of those 11 innings, India has won 5 and Sharma’s average in those rises significantly to 60.75, with two half-centuries in the process.
In comparison, Kohli’s average in those five wins is 52 and he has no 50s or 100s either. Even I am surprised now.
In England, Sharma has batted second 6 times and has scored 238 runs with an average of 47.60. It might read like he is awesome in England, but there is a catch that works against him as well: he scored a 123 not-out against Bangladesh and 52 against West Indies.
In the other four games, however, he was very poor and averaged only 15.75. Well, well...
I was going to write about South Africa now, but it seemed pointless due to the fact that he has batted only twice there.
I initially wanted the readers to do this, but then an analysis without a conclusion feels like a pizza without olive toppings. Also, I didn't want to deprive the readers of my exceptional analytical abilities that have landed me absolutely no job offers since my graduation last January.
Anyways, without further delving into my darkness - and digression thereof - Rohit Sharma has done well for himself and Team India. He might not be a God that many make him out to be, but neither is he an 85-year-old athritis-inflicted grand-dad with a bat in his hand like many seem convinced he .
Considering all the stats and scenarios, in short: no, Rohit Sharma is not overrated.