Rohit Sharma first opened for India in January 2011 during the tour of South Africa but had a lean return with only 29 runs in three innings. He was given the role again by MS Dhoni during home ODIs against England in January 2013, when he immediately made an impact, scoring 83 in Mohali.
In late 2019, Rohit was promoted by Virat Kohli in the longest format, and the Indian opener hasn’t disappointed. In the recently concluded Test series against England at home, Rohit returned as the second-highest run-scorer with 345 runs in 4 Tests.
As India scripted a memorable comeback, following a 227-run defeat in the series opener, the Kohli-led side bounced back to seal the series (3-1) against Joe Root & Co. on Day 3 of the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad on Saturday (March 6).
After registering a phenomenal series win, Ravichandran Ashwin – who was adjudged the ‘Player of the Series’ for his all-round skills – heaped praises on Rohit as it was the latter’s century in the second Test which shifted the momentum of the hosts.
“When you put him on the pedestal of Virender Sehwag and the few other names you mentioned, that’s the right place, that’s where he belongs. We all know that. My history with Rohit goes a long way back, probably 20 years ago, since I have watched him bat, and he has always been a special batsman,” said Ashwin during a recent press conference.
The Tamil Nadu cricketer added: “It is not a surprise that you are seeing him on the same lines as Sehwag. It’s not evolution; it’s just a matter of time. Nobody is surprised with Rohit Sharma for doing what he’s doing. He is a special cricketer; he’s a special batsman. I just hope he goes on to win a World Cup for India.”
For the unversed, Rohit wasn’t part of the Dhoni-led Team India, which lifted the 2011 ODI World Cup at Wankhede. The Mumbaikar, however, played a crucial role in India’s triumph at the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa.