Rohit Sharma (R) will take over the mantle from Virat Kohli (L)    Getty Images
Rohit Sharma (R) will take over the mantle from Virat Kohli Getty Images

Do you recall several people venting out their anger over Rohit Sharma‘s inclusion in Indian cricket team in late 2000s? Following a dream start in 2007 World T20I and CB Series 2007-08, Rohit was given plenty of opportunities. He did provide impetus, but consistency became his major hindrance. Nonetheless, 2013 Champions Trophy proved to be a turning point for him. Since then, there has been no looking back. The average that hovered in early 30s in the first half of his career shot up to mid-40s. With two double-hundreds and fifteen centuries, Rohit broke several records as opener. Early in 2017, he was adjudged Virat Kohli‘s deputy in limited-overs.

With Kohli rested for the limited-overs against Sri Lanka, Rohit takes charge in presence of his mentor MS Dhoni. In the process, he becomes India’s 24th ODI captain and 39th across formats.

We often talk about Yuvraj Singh’s stubborn approach of scripting several comebacks. However, Rohit’s journey hasn’t been less inspiring.

What’s special about Rohit?

Another hallmark about Rohit is the fact that he raises his game against the best opponents. Whereas no opener has crossed the 800-run mark against world champions Australia in this decade, Rohit has amassed 1,400 runs at 93.33 with 6 centuries.

Best batting average as opener in ODIs (minimum of 500 runs)

Batsmen M R Ave HS SR 100s 50s Win %
Rohit Sharma 83 4,066 54.21 264 90.0 12 22 60.49
Hashim Amla 151 7,156 50.75 159 89.4 25 33 64.14
Glenn Turner 29 1,197 49.87 171* 68.6 3 7 66.67
Sachin Tendulkar 340 15,301 48.29 200* 88.1 45 75 53.87
Dennis Amiss 18 859 47.72 137 72.5 4 1 62.50

3 IPL trophies

Rohit cemented his place in shorter formats after consistent performances at domestic as well as international level. He is the only captain to lift the IPL trophy thrice. In 2013, Ricky Ponting made way for Rohit’s captaincy due to poor form. Unlike his early phase, Rohit had learned to greet challenges as opportunities. He took over the baton and led Mumbai Indians to their maiden title. By 2017, Rohit added two more titles to the cabinet.

Rohit’s captaincy has been lauded by Mumbai Indians’ team management, including Sachin Tendulkar. His bowling changes have been impressive and has given ample room to the seniors. Surely, he will be itching to repeat the same while captaining India.