Since moving to the top of the order, Rohit Sharma has taken giant strides towards consistency over the course of the last year and has become a more reliable cog in India‘s limited-overs setup. Rohit’s potential was never really in doubt. But talent alone is of little use if it cannot be translated into results. Consistency has been Rohit’s achilles heel. But it is deja vu for the Mumbai Indians skipper.
The World T20 is where it all began for the stylish right-hander. Rohit made his T20 debut for India in the 2007 World T20 in Kingsmead, Durban and gave a glimpse of his ability with a fine half-century against South Africa in the next match, helping India clinch the match after a sloppy start. The Australia series a few months later turned out to be another successful outing, but Rohit has consistently failed to live up to the massive weight of expectation from those in the cricketing fraternity who rate him in the league of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
Fast forward to the home ODI series against Australia last year, and Rohit Sharma is a completely transformed cricketer as he smashed a total of 491 runs in the series. His most sensational knock was the 209 at the Chinnaswamy, a pressing reminder that there’s more to Rohit Sharma’s game than mere elegance. It was frenetic run-scoring made to look casual. It was excellent timing, but no slogging. It was simply classy. Rohit has been an object of derision for the longest time with the team management and fans growing increasingly frustrated by his inconsistent knocks, but not anymore!
A solid 24 against Pakistan was followed by a match-winning unbeaten 62 against defending champions West Indies as India cruised to the total of 130 without shifting a gear. Rohit’s inconsistent patch, coinciding with India’s disastrous tours of South Africa and New Zealand, had led to many in the cricketing fraternity calling for his head and Ajinkya Rahane to be brought in, but Rohit’s knock of 62 not out, undoubtedly confirms – if only for the moment – that he knows what little things to correct to get back among the runs. And here’s another stat that will surprise a few Rohit Sharma critics. Rohit’s average of 58.87 at the ICC World T20 is the most impressive among batsmen with 400 or more runs in the competition. (Sharma has scored 471 runs in 16 innings).
That should drop the jaws of those making a clamour for Rohit’s demotion in the batting order, and following his much-composed match winning innings against the men from the Caribbean, surely Rohit Sharma has the opening slot tucked nicely under his arm, atleast for the forseeable future. And it looks like Rohit Sharma is finally ready to graduate from the position of someone with ability trying to bed into the Indian setup to someone India can bank on for the future! Rohit Sharma does look like he is ticking the right boxes. Finally!