Happy Birthday, Rohit Sharma © Getty Images
Happy Birthday, Rohit Sharma © Getty Images

Rohit Sharma has become the toast of the nation after smashing an astonishing 264 in a One-Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Nishad Pai Vaidya picks 11 little known facts about one-day cricket’s new record-holder.

1. Telugu connection

Rohit’s mother hails from Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Telugu is his mother tongue and he can converse in that language despite living in Mumbai for a major part of his life.

2. Starting off as an off-spinner

Rohit once attended a cricket trial and was intimidated on seeing a long line of boys waiting to have a bat in the nets. As a result, he turned to bowling off-spin and was selected. It was then that Dinesh Lad, one of the well-known coaches in Mumbai, took notice of Rohit’s talent.

3. School waives fees

Rohit spent his early years in Dombivali, a distant suburb of Mumbai, and attended Our Lady of Vailankanni High School. Lad asked him to move to Swami Vivekananda International School in Borivali to give a boost to his cricket. However, Rohit’s parents could not afford to pay the fees and the authorities were kind enough to give him a waiver owing to his precocious cricketing talent.

4. The eggetarian

Rohit grew up in a traditional Indian vegetarian household. Even egg was a forbidden item. To suit his dietary needs, Rohit would eat eggs away from home and would respect the rules set by his family. He once confessed to eating 45 eggs at a go!

5. Meeting Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag at a young age

Sachin Tendulkar had presented him the Junior Cricketer of the Year Award in 2003-04. Rohit has looked up to Tendulkar all his life and this was a huge moment in his life. As a young boy, he once bunked school to meet Virender Sehwag. Years later, he played alongside his idols for India.

6. First Indian to score a T20 century

Rohit is the first Indian to score a century in T20 cricket. The format was first introduced in Indian domestic cricket in 2006-07. Though a few Indians had played T20 in county cricket, none of them were able to record a ton. In the first season of India’s national T20 competition, Rohit smashed a ton for Mumbai against Gujarat in Mumbai. His innings of 101 not out came off 45 balls and featured 13 fours and five sixes.

7. The No 45

The no 45 has a very special place in Rohit’s life. Not only is that his jersey number, but he also has his cars registered in such denominations. For a brief while, he had switched to wearing No 77, but then reverted to 45.

8. Shopping worth Rs 1.5 lakhs in Australia

In an interview with Star Sports, Rohit revealed that he once went shopping in Australia and bought products amounting to Rs 1.5 lakhs. He said he bought around four jeans and 10-15 T-shirts.

9. Posing for PETA

Rohit posed for People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in 2014 in their campaign against circuses.

10. Loves sleeping

Teammate Virat Kohli revealed on the popular television show Comedy Knights WithKapil that Rohit slept the most in the Indian team. Rohit normally gives an impression of being very laid back and relaxed.

11. Youngest captain with the double crown

Rohit is the youngest man to captain his team to victory in both the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Champions League T20 (CLT20). He achieved the feat in 2013 at the age of 26, leading Mumbai Indians to glory.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a former Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)