ROHIT SHARMA the Skipper who leads from the front


The year 2016 started in a breathtaking way for ROHIT SHARMA as he strucked 2 consecutive fabulous ODI tons in Australia – 171 at WACA (Perth) and 124 at GABBA (Brisbaine) and nearly a ton at Sydney where he got out on 99, he was adjudged the Man of the Series for his herculean batting effort, he carried his ODI form to the 3 match T20I series against the same side as he strucked 2 fifties in 3 T20s there to help India clean-sweep the mighty Aussies in their own den. Then came the home series against Sri Lanka where India didn’t have to do much to win the T20I series and Rohit did play his part in the 2 low scoring matches which India had won comfortably, he carries the momentum in to the Asia Cup T20s where in the very first match when India were in a spot of bother at 42/3 on a green top against the fiery  duo of Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahamad, Rohit made a very well crafted 83 off 55 balls he batted like as if he was playing on a different wicket and was class above the rest, then came the Purple patch from no where Rohit Sharma became the Rohit of old who used to throw away the good start and sometimes run out of patience to build an inning. this purple patch continued till the T20 WC semi-final, although there were some cameos here and there but there was nothing off-note from Rohit’s bat in that period which he was known for. But like all the good and great players Rohit knew how to move on from this tough phase and concentrate on what lies ahead as he exactly did that when the Indian Premier League started. Start was not that impressive though as Mumbai Indians suffered a crushing defeat from the hands of Rising Pune Supergiants, Rohit Sharma failed to make an impact so did the rest of the Mumbai batsmen. Then came the match and the ground where Rohit Sharma’s success is inevitable every time he comes out to bat, yes i am talking about ‘Eden Gardens’ Kolkata where Rohit Sharma has his maiden test ton, the mammoth 264 in an ODI inning, IPL ton in 2012 vs KKR and also a 98* in 2015 vs KKR. So given the history and the love saga with Eden Gardens Rohit Sharma was again up for it to take it to a new level as he blossom once again with an unbeaten 84 off 54 balls with 10 Fours and 2 Sixes as Mumbai Indians chased down the target of 188 with 5 balls to spare and Rohit was adjudged the Man of the match, such was Rohit’s dominance at the Eden Gardens is that his wife jokingly tweeted after the match “Fineee Eden I’ll share him with you”, this was just the start of many more to come as Rohit continued to blossom during the chase as his batting artistry this time is to be seen at the Wankhede Stadium against the Virat Kohli and Co. this time he constructed a brilliant 62 off 44 balls with 4 Fours and 3 Sixes to chase down an stiff RCB target of 171 with 12 balls to spare, Rohit’s next chasing destination was the Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi but on this occasion Daredevils boys were got the better of him as he was run out on 65(48) just 13 short of the target, this was heart-breaking for Rohit and the Mumbai Indians because they were in the position of so near yet so far which is never a good position to be in. He was waiting for the moment to eradicate the pain of the close lose against the Daredevils, what better for Rohit then is to do it against his favorite opposition Kolkata Knight Riders this time for a change at the Wankhede Stadium though as he was again in full flow once again, chasing an stiff target of 175 against the strong KKR attack Rohit constructed a graceful looking unbeaten 68 off 49 balls with 8 Fours and 2 maximum. Rohit backed up his performance against KKR with a dazzling and strokeful unbeaten 85 off just 60 balls with 8 Fours and 3 Sixes against RPS while chasing the target of 160. Only twice Rohit had failed while chasing was in their last 2 matches against the SRH and RCB where he could only manage 5 and 25 respectively. Barring the Fifty against Delhi Daredevils where he was unable to finish the job and his failure against SRH and RCB in the last 2 matches, Rohit has been at par with the very best when it comes to chasing down targets. The beauty of all these innings apart from the stroke play and Rohit’s usual artistic brilliance is that he stayed there till the end and finished the job on 3 out of 7 occasions and in 4 out of those 7 occasions he was adjudged Man of the Match. But in a bizarre and an unusual fashion he continues to fail while batting first as he accumulated a single digit scores of 7, 7, 5, 0 at an average of a mere 4.75, very contrasting to his chasing average where he probed to be a beast averaging an unreal 98.5 in 7 innngs. Now the IPL is almost in it’s business end and if Mumbai Indians have to qualify for the play-offs then their skipper ‘Rohit Sharma’ have to play a huge role in it just like the last season and in 2013 he did with his willow as well as his tactical brilliance. Last 2 innings has not been that good for Rohit as he could only manage to aggregate 30 runs from it. Mumbai Indians fans and think tank must be hoping that Rohit’s best is yet to come and he will deliver the knock out punch for them when it matters the most.

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