Rohit Sharma made his international debut for the Indian team more than a decade ago. He made a mark with his performance in the World T20 held in South Africa. At that time he was seen as the next big player in the Indian team.
But when we look in the hindsight, has he lived up to the expectations?
Rohit Sharma is a player who has been in and out of the ODI team since his debut in 2007. He was not put in the Indian squad for the 2011 World Cup, which we won eventually. Even though Sharma was playing some impressive innings during that period it was evident, that he is not doing justice to his potential. This shortcoming also led to the former Indian Captain MS Dhoni coming under hammer for giving Sharma too many opportunities.
The breakthrough for Sharma came when the selectors were looking for the replacement of Sehwag and Gambhir’s opening pair in the 2013 Champions Trophy. Sharma was picked to open for Indian with Shikhar Dhawan. This was the turning point for him and he grabbed the opportunity to silence the critics once and for all. Since then Sharma has maintained his position as the opening batsmen and has given some great innings.
Speaking of the Test career, Rohit Sharma has nothing of an ODI performance. In his career as a Test player spanning over 5 years, he has played only 25 matches. He has an average of 40 in Test cricket but he is not able to get runs when needed most, especially in other than subcontinent conditions. Also, he hasn’t scored against any stronger team in Tests.
Often he is seen struggling in Test in overseas games and questions has been raised against his selection in the team. Especially with players like Rahane and Pujara who are seen as technically superior, he is fighting hard to keep his place in the XI. However, selectors have kept their money on Rohit Sharma again and again.
His performance in the ODIs is what keeps selectors affixed to him who expect to see the same performance in the Tests. But it is high time to make the final call as Sharma’s poor shot selection and lazy footwork in the Tests is raising serious questions.
At this stage odds are against Rohit Sharma and management will have to take a hard look whether he can transition his ODI performance to Test cricket or not. But as he has proven many times, he can bounce back from any situation.