rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Cricket » Rohit Sharma: Looking forward to meeting expectations

Rohit Sharma: Looking forward to meeting expectations

Last updated on: May 30, 2011 17:50 IST

Rohit Sharma: Looking forward to meeting expectations

     Next

Next
Bikash Mohapatra

He was labelled the next best thing in Indian cricket ever since he made his one-day debut against Ireland in 2007.

However, the four years that followed were anything but a bed of roses for Rohit Sharma.

Blame it on luck, his inconsistent performances, or put it down to the fact that there's a player surplus (read multiple options - many aspirants vying for the same slot), the fact remains, Sharma is yet to establish his place in the national team. 

An aggregate of 1248 runs in 61 one-day matches (@ 27.13) provides for a statistical validation of his inconsistency. 


Image: Rohit Sharma
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant
     Next

'It has been an up and down journey so far'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The 24-year-old admits his inability to cement his position in the Indian one-day squad.

"It has been an up and down journey so far," says Sharma.

"But whatever limited opportunities I have got, I would like to believe that I have done well," he adds.

The most recent setback for the youngster was definitely a failure to book a place in the World Cup squad, one that went on to lift the prestigious trophy after a gap of 28 years.


Image: Rohit Sharma
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     Next

'I missed out on the World Cup'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

A disastrous show in the one-day series against South Africa that preceded cricket's marquee event -- Sharma aggregated just 49 runs in his five innings in South Africa (@ 09.80) -- probably cost him a place in the final 15. And there's a tinge of regret in his voice even as he reconciles to having missed out being part of a victorious squad.

"I know I missed out on the World Cup," he laments, before being a tad philosophical.

"It is alright," he continues.

"Such things happen.

"I just need to keep my focus on and don't lose my heart over it."


Image: Rohit Sharma

Prev     Next

'IPL is a huge platform'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The Mumbai batsman clearly doesn't have many happy memories of that phase and wants to forget the same.

"That (period in which he was in and out of the team) is gone," says Sharma, adding, "I don't want to think about the past.

"I am doing well now and want to concentrate on it."

The youngster is right, in a sense. With many key players preferring to rest ahead of the tour of England, opportunity has knocked Sharma's door again. He has been selected to the Indian one-day team for the Caribbean tour, starting June 4. And his selection has a lot to do with an impressive showing in the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League.

After three successful years with Deccan Chargers, whom he helped win the second edition of the tournament, Sharma was bought by Mumbai Indians for a whopping US $2 million, ahead of the fourth season.

To say the 24-year-old was one of the success stories for Mumbai Indians this season would be an understatement. Sharma notched 372 runs in his 14 innings (@ 33.81) to finish the third highest scorer for the team behind Sachin Tendulkar (553) and Ambati Rayudu (395).

Moreover, his overall aggregate (1542 runs) helped him move up to No 5 in the all-time high scorers' list, behind Suresh Raina (1813), Tendulkar (1723), Adam Gilchrist (1603) and Jacques Kallis (1556).

"IPL is a huge platform," he admits, before clarifying that his consistency in the tournament shouldn't be construed as arrogance, or an attempt to emphasise his worth.

"I don't want to make any statement. I just want to enjoy my cricket, the way I have been doing in the last four to five years.

"With the passage of time the opportunities will come and you just need to grab it."


Image: Rohit Sharma

Prev     Next

'I just need to back my abilities'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Humility will certainly hold him in good stead in the eyes of the selectors. For, despite his success in the IPL, Sharma has been struggling with the bat in his last few internationals.

The 24-year-old hasn't scored a half century in his last 12 innings -- his last significant contribution with the blade being a strokeful 69 against Sri Lanka at Dambulla last June, almost a year back.

The Mumbai batsman though is confident of his form ahead of the upcoming series and doesn't want to put too much pressure on himself.

"I don't want to think too much about that (the tour to the Caribbean) because by thinking too much, you just confuse yourself," explains Sharma, adding, "I have been batting well.

"And I just need to back my abilities."


Image: Rohit Sharma

Prev     Next

'I will go out and do my best when opportunity knocks'

Prev     More
Prev

More

The fact that Suresh Raina will be leading the squad in the one-dayers should augur well for Sharma. For his last productive series came when Raina captained a depleted Team India in the triangular series in Zimbabwe (also featuring Sri Lanka) last June.

Then Sharma aggregated a whopping 260 runs in his four innings (@ 86.67) and registered his two ODI hundreds back-to-back, 114 against Zimbabwe followed by an unbeaten 101 against Sri Lanka in the next match.

A year later there's possibility of an encore. Raina is again at the helm of affairs and Sharma is steadily getting back to his best.

"I am hitting the ball well and I want to continue doing that. And whenever I get the opportunity, I will go out and do my best," he declares.


Image: Rohit Sharma

Prev     More