A square cut for 4 and Rohit Sharma got to his second ODI century in 3 days... this time against a more reputable opposition and in a winning cause as well.
I had read of Rohit Sharma first time in early 2007. He was just a name in the newspaper then. When he got selected for and played in India's victorious World Twenty20 campaign in South Africa that year, he looked good. He was then selected for the ODI tri - series Down Under in early 2008.
The famous match-winning partnership he shared with Sachin Tendulkar in the first final of that Commonwealth Bank Series won him many fans and admirers... including the likes of Ian Chappell. He made 60-odd in what was an extremely mature knock coming from a very young player in a high-pressure situation. It did help that he had the guidance of a certain Sachin Tendulkar at the other end.
After that, the inaugural edition of IPL was held. Rohit Sharma was the only bright spot in a very disappointing campaign for the Deccan Chargers. After that, things started going wrong. Since then, whenever Rohit has had an opportunity to play for India, he has looked good... till a bad shot at the wrong time does him in (much like I mentioned about Mohammed Ashraful in my previous blog).
His inconsistency and a change in selection panel meant that he was no longer a regular in the Indian team. Every good performance for Deccan Chargers since then has caused a lot more heartburn for Team India fans, who keep wondering why he cannot perform just as well for the country as he does for his club. Every outing in the Indian colours, which is usually another frustrating failure, makes the fan in me wonder that is this just another extremely and obviously talented youngster that will be wasted like many before him?
His twin centuries here may have redeemed him somewhat... but I am still not satisfied, like many others. He needs to perform on a big occasion... when the chips are down. Rohit Sharma needs to do full justice to the enormous skills that he possesses alongwith that cool head. He needs to play and perform for the country more consistently against stronger oppositions. Sri Lanka is a good team... but in Zimbabwe, they are a second-string unit.
Rohit Sharma has a lot of fans... but most of them are angry fans! They are waiting to see if he can truly become what he is capable of. For that to happen, he will need to stay grounded. There were a few moments during IPL 2010 that made me feel that he will need a few keep-your-feet-on-the-ground lessons... and here is where Gary Kirsten could help.
He might have a bright future ahead of him... but the journey will have to be undertaken manfully. RG Sharma, do you have it in you?
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