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Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay - Rohit Sharma is born - a daddy hundred addict

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

April 30, 1987 - By the middle of the first decade of this century, those following Indian cricket closely knew that after Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, Mumbai had churned out another batting star in Rohit Sharma.

The right-hand batsman made his first impact on the international stage with a half-century on a difficult batting wicket at Kingsmead against hosts South Africa at the 2007 T20 World Cup. During his knock, he mesmerised one and all with his lazy elegance and touch play. Whoever saw him, fans and pundits alike, was in awe of the wristy brilliance and the fluidity of the stylish batsman.

"Who is this player whom everyone is talking about? I am also a decent bat," Virat Kohli revealed his emotions in a chat show on what he felt when he first came to hear about Rohit Sharma.

However, as the years passed by and promising starts were thrown away by some inexplicable swipes, the ‘pleasing-to-the-eye’ complement started taking on a more taunting meaning. He would start well and just when things seemed to be under control, he would get out while playing a rash shot. In essence, his brilliance itself was proving detrimental to his career.

After flattering to deceive in his first six years of international cricket, Sharma’s career blossomed when he was promoted to open alongside Shikhar Dhawan in the 2013 Champions Trophy. It was a move that marked a new dawn in Indian cricket post the era of Sehwag and Gambhir, and one that the team continues to gain from.

 

 

While Sharma averaged just 30.43 before 2013, he boasts a staggering average of close to 60 in ODIs since the 2013 Champions Trophy. In the ICC events as well, he has risen to the occasion more often than not.

Rohit Sharma was the top-run scorer in the 2019 ICC World Cup with a record five centuries in the tournament. Sharma ended the competition with 648 runs from nine innings at a jaw-dropping average of 81.00 and a strike rate of almost 100, with 67 fours and 14 sixes.

Sharma also scored the most 100s in a calendar year as opener last year with 10 tons and the most runs in a calendar year among Indian openers. With 19 hundreds, he has the most ODI 100s since the start of 2017 which has led him to climb to the fourth spot in the list of the most hundred makers, just behind Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Ricky Ponting.

Among the Test playing nations, he was also the second-highest run scorer in T20Is in 2019 with 396 runs from 14 games. In Tests as well, a format that Sharma was yet to prove himself, he took the opportunity of opening the batting with both hands in 2019, piling 556 runs from just six innings at a brilliant average of 92.66 and a strike rate of 75.95, including three centuries and a double.

His focus is now on winning the upcoming World Cup(s). The batsman was last part of a World Cup winning team that lifted the inaugural World T20 trophy.

“Winning the T20 World Cup is a dream for all of us. Every time you go out there you want to win every game but the World Cup is the pinnacle of everything. I want to win World Cups, we are not sure when this T20 WC is going to happen but as and when it happens, we will have a fair amount of time to prepare for it. I'm sure the cricket boards around the world are not going to say 'everything is fine we are going to schedule the World Cup',” Sharma said in his latest interview.

 The stylish batsman has scored three one-day double-centuries, more than any other batsman. He also holds the record for the highest individual one-day score - 264, against Sri Lanka in 2014. The Hitman is India's white-ball vice-captain and has had remarkable success as captain of Mumbai Indians in the IPL, with four IPL titles already in his kitty.

 

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