Who is Rohit Sharma?
Rohit Sharma is an Indian international cricketer who currently serves as the Vice captain of the Indian ODI and T20 teams. He is the captain of the Mumbai Indians IPL team. The right-handed batsman is better known as ‘The Hitman’ for his hard-hitting ability, and has scored a record three double-centuries in ODIs, with centuries in Test and T20 formats as well. Starting his career at the age of 20, he quickly earned praise for his calm and matured performance. However, a rough patch and an untimely injury had halted his ODI run and his Test debut during his early career. Thanks to the new IPL T20 competition, he was able to showcase his capacity as a batsman, an occasional bowler and a captain. He excelled especially in the limited-over formats after being promoted to the opening spot. Despite a delayed Test debut, he showed class with back-to back centuries in his first two matches.
Childhood & Early Life
Rohit Gurunath Sharma was born on April 30, 1987 in Bansod, Nagpur, Maharashtra, to Gurunath Sharma, the caretaker of a storehouse for a transport firm, and Purnima Sharma. As his father’s earnings were insufficient to raise him and his younger brother Vishal, he grew up with his grandparents and uncles in the western Mumbai suburb of Borivli and visited his parents every weekend.
At the age of eight, he became interested in cricket and managed to convince his uncle to give him Rs.200 to attend a coaching camp led by Dinesh Lad. Seeing his potential, Lad, who also coached at Swami Vivekanand International School which had better cricketing facilities, told him to switch to that school.
Upon learning that his uncle could not afford to pay for his fees there, Lad arranged for a four-year sports scholarship for the talented boy and encouraged the off-spin bowler to open as a batsman. He subsequently scored a century on his debut as an opener during the Harris and Giles Shield school cricket tournaments.
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Rohit Sharma made his domestic cricket debut for West Zone in their Deodhar Trophy match against Central Zone at Gwalior in March 2005. During the same tournament, he gained attention for scoring an unbeaten 142 in 123 balls against North Zone at Udaipur.
He was selected for the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy and also made into the list of 30 probable for the Champions Trophy even before his Ranji debut, but failed to make into the final squad. His First-class debut for India A was against New Zealand A, at Darwin in July 2006, followed by his Ranji debut for Mumbai in the 2006-07 season, during which he scored a double-century against Gujarat.
Rohit Sharma made his ODI debut against Ireland at Belfast during India’s tour in 2007, but did not get a chance to bat in the match. The same year, he earned the ‘Man of the Match’ award for leading India to victory with an unbeaten 50 off 40 balls against South Africa in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 on September 20, 2017.
He was selected for the 2007–08 Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia thanks to his maiden ODI half-century against Pakistan at Jaipur on 18 November 2007. In Australia, he scored two more half-centuries, including a 66 in the 1st final at Sydney during India’s successful run chase.
A series of bad performances cost him his middle-order position in the team, and even a triple-century in Ranji could not secure him a place in the playing eleven during India’s Bangladesh tour in 2009. He even failed to utilize his test debut opportunity after being selected in place of injured V. V. S. Laxman in February 2010, as he injured himself playing football during the warm-up session.
While he scored two back-to-back centuries against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka during the tri-series in May 2010, poor form in South Africa cost him a place in the Indian squad for 2011 World Cup. Upon his return against West Indies in 2011, he secured his first ‘Man of the Series’ honor for his two half-centuries, including a matching-winning 86 off 91 balls after India were down to 92-6.
Due to his good form, he was promoted to open with Shikhar Dhawan for the Champions Trophy in 2013, following which the duo built an exceptional rapport and led India to many series wins. On a personal level, he scored 209 runs off 158 balls against Australia in Bangalore and broke the world record for most sixes hit in an ODI innings with 16 sixes.
He eventually made his test debut during Sachin Tendulkar's farewell Test series in November 2013 and scored two back-to-back hundreds to become the third Indian batsman after Mohammad Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly to achieve this.
In 2014, his 264 against Sri Lanka broke a bunch of ODI records as it was the highest individual ODI score, the first ODI 250, and the first instance of two double-centuries by a player.
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Rohit Sharma was selected by the Deccan Chargers franchise for a sum of US$750,000 in 2008 IPL, during which he won the Orange Cap as the leading run-scorer for some time.
The Mumbai Indians bought him for US$2 million in the 2011 season, and the team won its first IPL during the 2013 season under his captaincy, followed by two more wins in 2015 and 2017.
After the retirement of Ajit Agarkar, he was named the captain of the Mumbai Ranji team for the 2013–14 season, thanks to his successful captaincy for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. In December 2017, with skipper Virat Kohli rested, he was named the captain of the Indian team for the Sri Lanka series, and registered 2-1 and 3-0 wins in the ODI and the T20 series, respectively.
Awards & Achievements
Apart from his numerous ‘Man of the Match’ and ‘Man of the Series’ awards, Rohit Sharma has received the ‘Arjuna Award’ from the Indian Government in 2015.
He has scored three ODI double centuries, the maximum by any player, including his 264 against Sri Lanka, which is the highest individual ODI score.
On October 2, 2015, he became the second Indian cricketer, after Suresh Raina, to have scored centuries in all formats of the game with his 106 in the first T20I against South Africa at Dharamshala.
He led the Mumbai Indians team to three IPL trophies. He has also taken a hat-trick in IPL and became the fifth player to do so.
Personal Life & Legacy
On December 13, 2015, Rohit Sharma married his friend, manager, and girlfriend of six years, Ritika Sajdeh, to whom he was first introduced by senior player Yuvraj Singh in 2008. They live in their 4-BHK apartment in Ahuja Towers, Worli, Mumbai.
Three years into his cricketing career, Rohit Sharma kept a promise he had made to his parents and moved them out of their modest single-room house in Dombivili to a posh area in Borivali. He also funded his younger brother Vishal’s trip to Florida to study hotel management.