Will The Hitman Have A Dream Swansong?

Rohit Sharma should look hungry and grab any opportunity that comes his way in an attempt to win the WC trophy. This may well be Rohit Sharma’s last hoorah in T20Is. Will he make it count?
Over the years Rohit has won 6 IPL trophies, five with the Mumbai Indians and one for the Deccan Chargers.

Over the years Rohit has won 6 IPL trophies, five with the Mumbai Indians and one for the Deccan Chargers.

As the athletic pacer with a chiselled body - Makhaya Ntini of South Africa steamed in – a young 20-year-old batter waited with bated breaths on a finely balanced stance and when the delivery came by, he flogged it off over extra cover for a languid boundary. This was one of many for the day, some 17 summers ago in Durban, South Africa.
With his lazy elegance, perfect timing, and easy approach, the batter became known as the executor of the finest bowling, somebody who didn’t think twice before sending an excellent delivery over the ropes for a six or a boundary. Rohit Sharma had announced himself on the world stage with his first fifty in a T20 international game and Ravi Shastri excitedly exclaimed from the commentary box, “India may have found a new player of excellence.”
India went on to win the match and the inaugural T20 World Cup under the astute leadership of MS Dhoni. Almost all the players of that match have waded into oblivion. Dhoni’s international career has long been over while Shaun Pollock, Virender Sehwag, and ilk appear to be players of a different generation altogether.
But the Hitman is sticking around – 17 long years and counting.
Over the years Rohit has won 6 IPL trophies, five with the Mumbai Indians and one for the Deccan Chargers. He has led India to the final of the ICC Test Championships and the ODI World Cup. He is one of the most successful Indian captains, yet his rich coffers have space for an ICC trophy - so conspicuous by its absence!
Rohit has another opportunity coming up, perhaps his last attempt to win an ICC trophy. As soon as the IPL din dies down the Indian team will fly across the Atlantic for the ICC T20 World Cup.
The United States and the Caribbean will host the upcoming T20 World Cup which will see a record 20 nations taking part in the championship. The 20 teams are divided into 4 groups and 2 teams from each group qualify for the Super 8 stage. This will be followed by the semifinals and the final on the 29th of June.
India and Pakistan are in the same group – this is a small little trick, now almost a ritual, to allow the frenzied fans one more opportunity to watch an India-Pakistan duel.
Rohit Sharma has his task cut out - he has to forget the lack of form in this IPL playing for Mumbai Indians and quickly rebound to have any real impact on the tournament. Looking at the time difference between the host nations and India, the India matches are mostly scheduled early morning local time. This has influenced the Indian team selection as well while Rohit defended the choice of 3 spinners in the squad.
Rohit Sharma has to open with the same aggression and purpose that he is known for; Yashwasi Jaiswal has to quickly regain his lost form and Virat Kohli needs to translate his IPL form on the world stage. Bumrah can take care of the pace attack, though Shami would be missed, and Hardik Pandya may well be the wild card in the team. The spinners look formidable if the pitches offer any assistance.
Most importantly – Rohit Sharma should look hungry and grab any opportunity that comes his way in an attempt to win the WC trophy. This may well be Rohit Sharma’s last hoorah in T20Is. Will he make it count?
(This article is authored by Vidhanshu Kumar. He teaches at Bennett University and has covered international cricket across the globe. Views expressed are personal.)
End of Article
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