New Delhi: It is the nature of warfare that when the settings and rules of battle change, only the best can adapt quickly to turn the tide in their favour.
If cricket had been warfare, Rohit Sharma would have been dead a long time ago, for it was his wont to take the risks that weren’t worth taking. He was a man who could’ve mowed down battalions on his own, but was distracted, unsure of himself and his role.
Then came the ODI rule changes and M.S.Dhoni’s masterstroke of pushing him to the top of the order. The responsibility brought on by his new role as captain of the Mumbai Indians, in addition to some self-realisation of a cricketing career being wasted, made him redefine himself and the evolving role of the opener.
He reined himself in and decided to be a smarter batsman, rather than prettier.
Within 10 months, he added an ODI hundred, a double hundred, tons in his first two Test innings and countless other important performances to his record. Like Arjuna in the epic Mahabharata, he needed a change of mindset before he could become an all-conquering warrior.
But unlike Arjuna, he didn’t need divine intervention to make it happen.
That Rohit could have made his Test debut as far back as 2010 is a matter for academic discussion. Even he would admit that it was better he got what he wanted now, rather than before.
Rohit showed the sublime gift of timing in forcing his way into the Test side at an opportune moment. With Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S. Laxman gone, the team and its fans were looking for a new holy trinity and, potentially at least, Pujara, Kohli and Rohit do possess the talent to plug that gaping hole.
Whatever be the format, Rohit is India’s newest hit man, and if he can keep his mind focused, there’s no reason why he can’t go down in history as one of the greatest lords of the cricket field.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.
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