Rohit Sharma @Eden Gardens: Seven memorable years
The hallowed venue, says Bikash Mohapatra, has inadvertently played its part in ensuring several special moments in the Mumbai batsman’s fledgling career
Eden Gardens is, without doubt, the oldest and the grandest venue in India. It also happens to be one of the luckiest for some cricketers.
The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Azharuddin, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid Harbhajan Singh and many others enjoyed some of the best moments of their respective careers in front of the passionate fans at this venue.
Rohit Sharma happens to be the latest addition to the list.
His unbeaten 127 against the West Indies in the opening Test made him the 14th Indian to score a hundred on debut, and third to do so at this venue -- after Deepak Shodhan (1952) and Azharuddin (1984).
However, fact remains, the Eden Gardens has inadvertently played its part in ensuring several special moments in the player’s fledgling career.
Image: Rohit Sharma celebrates after getting to his hundred at the Eden Gardens
Rohit's first and only IPL hundred was also at Eden Gardens
For starters, the 26-year-old made his first class debut for Mumbai in a Ranji Trophy game against Bengal, at the venue in December 2006.
Subsequently, he registered some significant scores at the venue at the first class level.
As a Mumbai Indians player, Rohit scored his first – and so far only – hundred, an unbeaten 109, in the Indian Premier League at the Eden.
More recently, Ricky Ponting handed the captain’s arm band to him, for the first time, ahead of Mumbai Indians’ match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the venue in April this year. And the player duly responded to the responsibility by leading his franchise to victory over the then defending champions.
More importantly, Rohit led Mumbai Indians to their maiden title at the venue, beating two-time champions Chennai Super Kings in the final.
'At the Eden you have to see out the early overs'
It was fitting that Rohit’s Test debut, as well as his maiden hundred, came at a venue where he has enjoyed so many memorable moments.
Asked how he plays well at the Eden Gardens, the batsman came up with a pre-meditated reply.
“At this venue, you know, you have to see out the early overs and then it becomes easier to score,” he said.
Considering he proved it before he said so, there’s no reason not to believe Rohit’s mantra for success at the Eden.
P.S. It's sheer coincidence that Rohit Sharma is yet to play a One-Day International at the Eden Gardens.
Image: Rohit Sharma