The legendary Rohit Sharma and his journey towards the mighty 264 !
264, the story is quite interesting. I was engrossed in work and was not at all interested in watching the one sided India Sri Lanka clash. Majorly because we have already sealed the series and secondly, the presence of Anushka Sharma was a little disappointment last time. So I decided not to switch on the ODI match.
I just stepped out for a moment when I heard 2 guys with a shocking expression telling each other “264, this is heights” and I was like if India scored 264, what is the big deal? Then I checked my phone and saw the tweets from all over the globe praising one man, Mr. Sharma. First I could not believe my eyes and it took me some time to absorb the fact that this batsman who every time was out of the team due to either injuries or lack of performance has shut his critics up and that too royally.
After reading almost 50 tweets of praises, I whispered just one thing- RESPECT and I am sure, every Indian would have gone thought the same when he knelt down and showed his bat upwards thanking God when he reached 100. Indeed it was a moment of pride for him, team India and the entire nation.
So on this record breaking occasion, let us know a little more about this monstrous batsman (batting wise). Following are the few things about super hit Sharma which you might not know.
1. The Telugu connection
Well, most of us know the fact that Rohit Sharma is from Mumbai and must have imagined him speaking in the fluent mumbaikar accent, but what we don’t know is that he is extraordinarily fluent while speaking Telugu too. So next time if your hear him saying “Nenu Bharatdesam Prema” (I love India), then don’t be shocked, it’s his regular. He has got this because of his frequent visits to his grandparents’ state, Andhra Pradesh.
2. The scholar
Sharma not only fires on the field but showed the potential of being an outstanding cricketer since his childhood. When he completed his primary education, he got enrolled into Swami Vivekanand International school, Borivali purely on scholarship. His childhood coach Mr. Dinesh Lad spotted the talent in him and so he was given the full scholarship to represent Swami Vivekananda at various cricketing events.
3. Entry into professional cricket
If you have read the autobiography of Sachin Tendulkar, Playing It My Way, then you have definitely heard about Giles and Harris shield school cricket tournament. The Master Blaster was unstoppable in these tournaments and so was our very own Rohit Sharma. These tournaments are the place where Rohit took the baby step and learned all the basics.
4. Mumbai ke liye main khelengaa
After playing various school level tournaments, Rohit was comfortable playing great boundaries and sixes and so it was the time to raise the bar. This is when Mumbai cricket happened as he was selected for Mumbai U-20
5. India calling
Soon his talent was recognised by Indian selectors and so he was chosen for India U-17 and U- 19 teams. He was in the papers when in the U-19 world cup in 2006 in Sri Lanka, he finished 11th in the ranking of top run makers in the tournament.
6. The hero of List A matches
In March 2005, he made his List A debut with central zone. They were playing against central zone in the Deodhar trophy tournament. In the same tournament he scored unbeaten 142 in 123 balls against the North zone. This was one of the turning points of Sharma’s career as it bought him into the limelight.
7. Unstoppable Sharma
After playing some of his best shots in list A matches, Sharma was seen hitting more powerful shots for India A sides in Abu Dhabi and Australia and hence entered the top 30 probables list of the champions trophy.
8. First class, not so first class
In his initial days after he made his first class debut in the year 2006/07 he was unable to contribute much. However that did not stop him from practising his shots off field again and again for 100 times. As a result, he scored 205 off 267 balls against Gujarat. He helped his team seal the victory card with his half century in the finals against heavy star cricketing team Bengal. In 2013, after the retirement of ace cricketer Ajit Agarkar, Sharma was made the captain of the Mumbai Ranji team. Decision was based on his match winning performances as a captain in IPL and CLT 20 2013.
9. Dream debut
Sharma is among one of those lucky debutants who scored a century in his first test game for India against West Indies at Kolkata on November 7, 2013. He made his ODI debut against Ireland at Belfast, Ireland.
10. Wait over
Finally, Indians started discussing the potential of the batsmen after 20th September 2007, when he led India to victory by scoring an unbeaten 50 off 40 balls against the South Africa in 2007 ICC T 20 World Cup. The win helped India to book their place in the semis of the tournament.
11. The bad phase
Cricket is not always about hitting sixes and boundaries, but also about failing and surviving. Rohit Sharma did not taste failure at a huge scale after entering professional cricket. But soon it was his turn to try the bitter taste of cricket. His downfall started when his ODI performances began to fall when Raina and Kohli filled up the requirements of the middle order. This is one of the reasons why he was kept out of the ODI side for a very long time.
12. Filling in the gap
Very few people who know Rohit Sharma personally, know how much he love this willow game. In the team or out of the team, that does not necessarily affect his cricket routine. During those days when he was not in the Indian team, he never missed his practice session. He believed practising for long hours kept him away from all the negativity. Soon after a long break, he fired triple century in the Ranji Trophy in December 2009 and soon was called back for the ODI team for the tri nation tournament in Bangladesh, but did not get a chance to play any of the 5 matches. Reason – presence of Raina and Kohli.
13. Frustrated bat did the speaking
It is said, when you know you can do it better, but miss out the chance, frustration reaches the tip of your brain and you are on the verge of exploding yourself. Same happened with Rohit Sharma. Even after getting a call back for Indian team, he was not given the chance to play it out on the field. After being patient for certain tournaments, the moment he got a chance against Zimbabwe, he showed what class performance is and went on to score his maiden century. That did not satisfy him, so in the same tournament, he scored an unbeaten 101 against Sri Lanka. He was definitely in “Beware, don’t come near me” mode.
14. Lets do the opening
2013 was the year of experiments for the Indian cricket team and so Rohit Sharma was experimented as the new opening batsman for India along with Shikhar Dhawan for the champions trophy. Powerful hitting by both the batsmen helped team India to win the series and also tri nation series in West Indies. He was on a roll now. In the home series against Australia, he scored 141 not out in Jaipur and 209 runs off 158 balls in Bangalore. He did not stop there, with 16 sixes, he broke the world record for most sixes hit in an ODI innings.
15. The D-Day
Finally it was 13th of November 2014 when the entire nation for once could not feel tired speaking about just one name, Rohit Sharma. Yes, that was the day when records were rewritten in the book of history. Rohit Sharma became the first person to have scored 250+ runs in the One Day international cricket. His scored of 264 at Eden Gardens Kolkata against Sri Lanka in the highest score by any batsmen in an ODI, after 219 by Virender Sehwag.
Rohit Sharma has seen a lot in his cricketing career, but one thing he has kept constant and that is his smile. Yes, he shouts and jumps and cries when he scores a century, but at the same time he is the most sincere batsman off the field.
So tell us in the comments section below some of your favorite Sharma innings.