Rohit Gurunath Sharma
April 30, 1987, Bansod, Nagpur, Maharashtra
Right hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Top order Batter
Languid and easy on the eye, Rohit Sharma owned all the shots in the book when he emerged from the Mumbai suburbs as heir apparent to the Indian batting greats of the 2000s. It took him time and persistence, but by the 2010s he had become a colossus in white-ball cricket, and the man in charge of perhaps the most formidable league team in the first age of T20.
That Rohit had talent was apparent to both the casual observer and to the trained eye. Fans were frustrated at the long wait for the potential to translate into runs, though selectors and captains, knowing better, kept backing him. At one point the word "talent" was Rohit's bugbear, a pejorative nickname for him on social media. Once it all clicked, though - the move to open the batting in ODIs late in 2012 was one particular turning point - things came together spectacularly.
Rohit scored ODI double-hundreds for fun, won six IPLs in the first 15 editions of the tournament, scored five hundreds at the 2019 ODI World Cup, and when he finally got to open in Tests in 2019, three quick hundreds in his first series in the role, one of them a double.
Ironically his IPL franchise nicknamed him "Hitman" when he was anything but: more caresser, less hitter. But Rohit still became known as one of the foremost hitters of colossal sixes of his era. So spectacular and certain was his acceleration that people began anticipate a massive score every time he went past 50.
His captaincy at Mumbai Indians, whom he led to five titles, won plaudits. He proved himself a methodical, studious and calm leader, one not averse to using technology and data to arrive at decisions. He was an able deputy to Virat Kohli in limited-overs formats in international cricket, winning India two titles in Kohli's absence, and took over as captain in all formats in 2022.
Batting & Fielding