The Joy of Rohit Sharma, and oh the Torment

(Picture: AFP)

Rohit Sharma has obtained on the entrance foot and pulled Mustafizur Rahman over sq. leg for six. India are chasing 223 within the Asia Cup closing in Dubai. Rohit is up towards one of many canniest white-ball bowlers round however he might actually be knocking the ball about in a park. So relaxed is his manner, so unhurried the kinetics of his arm, so fluid his bat-swing that Kevin Pietersen, on air, can’t assist however purr with delight.Pietersen tells us how Rohit appears to have a lot time for stepping into place and the way solely elite batsmen – like Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden and Michael Vaughan – could make the front-foot pull shot seem really easy. “Right here’s a person on prime of his sport,” says Pietersen, unabashed in his admiration.

That is Rohit’s second six of the match. He has earlier pulled a left-arm spinner over long-on – prompting Sunil Gavaskar into a quick rapture – and he would later hook Rubel Hossain over advantageous leg. Scattered in between these massive hits are three fours: every exquisitely timed, the ball caressing the grass, the group astir.

When in stream, Rohit’s batting carries a timeless high quality. He picks the size early and cajoles the ball to the ropes fairly than resorting to any violence. He thrives within the shorter varieties however his fashion is something however slam-bang. Quite, his finesse calls to thoughts batsmen like Carl Hooper and Damien Martyn who walked to the crease with languid ease and lit up grounds with their glowing strokes. The pitch, the bowling, the group, the rating: all took a backseat after they have been of their component. And so it’s with Rohit. It should let you know one thing when cricketers as various as Pietersen, Gavaskar, Nasser Hussain and Ian Chappell are so effusive of their reward. Maybe what they’re telling us is that this: to look at Rohit bat is to get a snatch of brilliance from the previous.


India are 83 for three within the 17th over with the required price at a benign 4.24. Rohit is stringing collectively a partnership with a set Dinesh Karthik. So undemanding is the chase that Rohit can afford to play out eight dot balls from Rubel Hossain, who’s in the course of an correct spell. Rohit has been attempting to beat the infield every time however the ball is simply too straight to free his arms.

Rubel digs one briefly.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit picks the ball off his hips and swivels a pull sq. of the wicket. There’s a huge hole between advantageous leg and sq. leg however Rohit has by some means managed to discover a fielder within the deep.

Every part about this dismissal appears good for Rohit. He’s batting like a dream. In a match closing. He’s the captain. Going through a most affordable goal. With every little thing set for him to steer the facet to victory. And what has Rohit performed? Been slowed down by a medium-pacer and holed out within the deep. He was so effectively set… but he has given Bangladesh a gap the place none ought to have existed. Does a batsman of his caliber have to get so impatient when a bowler is having fun with an excellent part? The place is the game-awareness to bide one’s time and look forward to the unhealthy balls?

So heightened is Rohit’s promise, so shimmering his functionality, that it’s straightforward to overlook how a lot he has scored – and what he has contributed – and deal with what might have been. To have kick-started this chase with a 55-ball 48 isn’t any imply achievement. Most groups would take that day by day of the week. However that 48 appears insignificant in comparison with what he promised.

As if that’s not sufficient, one has to deal with Rohit’s utter impassiveness. He doesn’t curse himself when he walks off, doesn’t swish his bat. There may be nothing to recommend that he’s within the midst of a wrestle. He bats and not using a care on the earth. And his sloppy dismissal appears to have little impact on his mood. Does he even care? Is he nothing greater than an entitled brat?


Rohit Sharma is so good that Rohit Sharma is invariably not so good as he will be. Rohit Sharma makes batting look really easy… till he throws his wicket away. Rohit Sharma performs probably the most scrumptious strokes… till he goes for glory. Rohit Sharma may very well be a terrific Take a look at batsman… if solely he didn’t waste his possibilities.

For a very long time in his profession Rohit Sharma walked into the sector with a query mark over his head (is he ok? will he stay as much as the promise? does he deserve his spot?). As of late it’s the exclamation mark that has taken priority (what a fantastic shot! what a c%#p shot!). Rohit himself has admitted that the query marks bogged him down early in his profession. However now he’s much less fazed by the reactions he attracts and is at house in his pores and skin.

India's captain Rohit Sharma

Eleven years into his worldwide profession, Rohit – with over 7000 runs within the format – is effectively on his solution to ODI greatness. Sooner or later within the not so distant future he’ll probably sit alongside Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli on the creamy prime. He’s already a legend within the IPL, having led Mumbai Indians to 3 titles, and can most likely go down as the most effective captains India by no means had. He averages near 107 in his eight ODIs as captain and his canny bowling modifications – at numerous levels of the Asia Cup – helped India claw again.

As for Take a look at cricket: Rohit might go down the identical path traversed by Vinod Kambli or Ajay Jadeja: batsmen who had towering first-class information solely to flounder within the five-day sport. Or possibly, with a fortunate break right here and a giant innings there, he might go the way in which of Mike Hussey and Misbah-ul-Haq: batsmen who blossomed within the longer format of their mid- and late-thirties.

Both manner, Rohit is now a cricketer to be celebrated fairly than reviled. He’s a batsman to be loved and a captain to admire. The longer one ponders the ‘what ifs’ of Rohit’s profession the extra one ignores what he has really managed to tug off. The louder one rages towards the hype, the much less one appreciates his worth.

Sure, Rohit Sharma might have achieved a lot extra.

However hey, Rohit Sharma has already achieved a lot.

First Printed: September 29, 2018, 2:57 PM IST


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