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During the 2007-08 ODI series in Australia, India had unearthed an exciting young player. Rohit Sharma had come good during the series. At the end of the series, he was touted by many as the heir to Sachin Tendulkar.
Close to almost five years later, watching the 25-year-old play, I wonder: what went wrong? One of Australia's best and most formidable captains, Ian Chappell had described Rohit as the next best thing to happen to Indian cricket. To begin with, here was a batsman with a really good technique. Next up, you noticed, amid the many sloggers, a man with crisp drives and solid punches. Then came his fielding: energetic, enthusiastic and near perfect. A bonus perhaps was his really useful offspin. All in all, here was the complete package.
But five years down the line, Rohit Sharma hasn't played a single Test, is not a permanent fixture in the ODI playing XI and is, if he is indeed picked, a floater in the batting order. Plenty of opportunities have come his, more often than not he has failed to cash in on them. The accusations levelled against him are being irresponsible, poor running, and throwing his wicket away in tight circumstances. If Rohit takes a reality check he will probably see himself going nowhere.
I agree I've been a little too harsh on him, for he has had his moments of sheer brilliance. Right up from his debut during the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup through the Australia ODI series, right down to his recent century in the IPL, each and every one of those rare innings were gems, characterised by gorgeous shots. His shortcoming, however, lies in his inability to do it time and again, something the other batsman in his league (the likes of Virat Kohli) do, day in, day out. Far too many chances have been given away and in all probability they will dwindle. One of my personal favourites, an incredible talent, Rohit Sharma must do all it takes to keep himself from going off the radar.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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