Rohit Sharma, the first man on the planet to score three One Day International double hundreds has been one of the most consistent performers for the country in recent times, especially in coloured clothes cricket. Arguably, the cleanest hitter of the cricket ball in modern day cricket, Rohit has always been one to watch with his awe-striking performances. While his batting style and success has changed the perception of many Cricket Pundits over the years, his captaincy skills are now stealing the show as well. This champion cricketer from Nagpur has made a habit of shutting down his critics with his on-field performances.
One of the highlights of Rohit’s cricketing journey has been his captaincy tenure with IPL franchise Mumbai Indians. He took charge in 2013 and changed the fate of the team. The team was in the bottom of the points table in the first two editions of the tournament but fought back hard in later editions to become one of the most successful teams of the IPL history. Although they finished as the table toppers in 2010 and got the third position in 2011 and 2012 edition of the competition, they still had some distance left to cover.
The drought finally ended in 2013 when the reigns were handed over to Rohit Sharma. Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs at Eden Gardens, Kolkata to win their first IPL tournament. Since then, the team has been one of the consistent performers in the competition and has three IPL and two Champions League titles to its name.
The Road to Team India’s Captaincy
Rohit Sharma has been carrying the tag of ‘Natural Talent’ since the very first day of his arrival in international cricket. The same has probably also kept him under pressure for a long time. He started off his promising career with some eye-catching performances in 2007 ICC World Twenty20, but could not maintain the consistency required at the international level. He struggled to cement his place in the side and he was not a part of India’s successful world cup campaign in 2011.
But it was Dhoni’s masterstroke during the 2013 Champions Trophy that got him a chance to play at the top of the order and changed his fortune. India did many experiments for the vacant opening slots after the exit of Sachin and Sehwag and in Sharma, emerged the opening pair of Dhawan and Rohit which turned out to be their perfect successor.
Since then, Rohit has not looked back and has been standing as a tall pillar of the Indian Team. He has performed in vital circumstances and has been one of the critical factors in India’s cricketing dominance over the world in recent years. In 2017, when Virat Kohli was rested against Sri Lanka to focus on the South African Tour, Rohit was rewarded for his brilliant performances and handed the captaincy for the first time. He passed his very first assignment at the international level as India won the ODI series by a margin of 2-1 and T20I series by 3-0. His next captaincy assignment was Nidahas Trophy in March 2018, where India beat Bangladesh with Dinesh Karthik’s heroics in the dramatic final in Sri Lanka.
He also captained India for its Asia Cup title defence in September 2018, where India emerged victorious by beating Bangladesh in UAE. For the ongoing three-match T20 series against West Indies, India has again rested its regular skipper Virat Kohli. On Tuesday, India beat West Indies in the second T20 match by 71 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Last five years have turned out to be a golden period for this Nagpur lad and this is making him a favourite contender for any upcoming permanent captaincy opportunity. If he continues to score hundreds and double hundreds at the same pace, then records of many stalwarts will be broken along the way as well.
So, will the Showman’s 100 per cent captaincy record continue unabated?