Team India opener Rohit Sharma scored a fabulous hundred at The Oval to play a stellar role in the side’s victory in the Test match against England. Rohit has looked in great form throughout the Test series in England but was unable to convert his starts into three figures. As such, his ton at The Oval was the culmination of an extended period of hard work, during which doubts were raised about his ability, especially while opening away from home. With his fantastic century in the fourth Test, Rohit not only silenced the doubters but also marked his transition from white-ball legend to complete a proper Test batsman.
What has changed for Rohit Sharma in England?
To be fair to the critics, Rohit did not come to England with a great overseas record in Test matches. Also, this was going to be his first visit to the country as a Test opener. Prior to this, he had played only one Test match in the middle-order. His technique had been exposed numerous times in the past in away Tests. And, when he fell after getting starts in both innings of the World Test Championship (WTC) final, Indian experts were worried about the side’s prospects against England, considering opening plays such a pivotal role in Test matches in England.
To his credit, Rohit rose to the challenge and turned it into a golden opportunity. The standout aspect of the Indian opener’s batting in the Test series has been the way in which he has attuned his game as per the demands of the situation. Rohit has played the ball late, very close to his body, literally under his eyes. For someone known for his flamboyant batting display, this has been a massive adjustment. But the fact that Rohit took the pains to implement it, proves how focused he was to make a difference on what was earmarked as a make or break tour for him as a Test batter.
He curbed his natural instincts and ensured that he gave India assured starts in most matches. In the initial Tests, Rohit was giving his wicket away with some poor shots, but he reined himself in incredibly well at The Oval. A part of the credit for Rohit’s success should also go to his opening partner KL Rahul. As a pair, Rohit and Rahul have flourished at the top of the order. The latter’s success has meant that Rohit could focus on his game, without worrying about what was happening at the other end as Rahul took charge.
Rohit Sharma already a white-ball legend
Even before Rohit embarked on the Test tour of England, there was no doubt about his credibility as a batter in the white-ball formats. He was already a legend in the limited-overs versions. Rohit could have easily sat back on his laurels as a great in ODIs and T20Is. At 34, he doesn’t have a lot of time in his international career. However, the Mumbai batter was adamant to prove a point and has done so with his tremendous performances in the Tests in England. Although he may not end his Test career with awesome numbers, for a brief period he is likely to remain the king of international cricket, if he can maintain his ascendancy.
Apart from his batting skills, Rohit is also a proven leader. He has been significantly responsible for turning around Mumbai Indians from a non-performing outfit of superstars to the greatest IPL franchise. With his calm and sensible leadership style, he has moulded the team into a well-oiled unit. The admiration MI players have for Rohit the captain is evident in how highly they speak of their skipper. With Virat Kohli at the helm of affairs, Rohit hasn’t got a lot of chances to lead India. But in the brief period that he has done, he has looked the part. As he approaches the concluding part of what has been an eventful career, Rohit would want to walk away having made most of the right moves.