Rohit Sharma – Lord and Master

Rohit Sharma goes for big shot vs England
Rohit Sharma goes for a big shot vs England (PC: Debasis Sen)

Team India is blessed to have a captain as cool as Rohit Sharma. Come rain, wind or sunshine, the India skipper has maintained such a calm approach that one wonders if he ever feels pressure. After India whacked England to enter the ICC T20 World Cup final, Rohit spoke in his inimitable style. Measured words, no hyperbole, just plain simple talk. It is this mature approach which has made Rohit lord and master.

Was there revenge on the minds of every Indian on the field? Perhaps there was, for Rohit will want to sign off on a high on June 29. But before that, he had to first take care of Australia and then England. These have been the most challenging conditions of any World Cup, from New York to Florida and then the West Indies. Flights, changing time zones, pitches very different in nature, and then a start-stop-start semi-final which kept India awake on Thursday night. Early birds had already started chirping on Friday morning by the time the press conferences had wrapped up half a world away.

Back to Rohit the batter, the destroyer. His template is simple – he will hit, and that too unmindful of the consequences. His aggression bordered on arrogance against Australia when he scored 92. In contrast, against England, where he again scored a half-ton as opener, Rohit ensured he was going to lead the way. Criticism, adverse weather and rain – he has weathered many storms, and for all of us who have watched Lagaan the movie, many memories came back.

That was celluloid. What was enacted in Guyana was reality. For some, Virat Kohli has been an abject failure in this competition. But if you listen to Rohit, he has said repeatedly that there are no doubts about Virat’s class, that he will maybe explode into form in the final against South Africa. Rohit, for one, is certainly not going to advocate dropping him.

For the Latest Sports News: Click Here

Rohit Sharma hitting a reverse sweep vs England
Rohit Sharma hitting a reverse sweep vs England (PC: Debasis Sen)

Rohit the leader has shown flair, feel and a cool presence. The pressure has been intense, yet Rohit the captain has handled it well and kept the flock together. Experts spoke of team changes needed, as if it was like changing socks after single use in sweaty conditions. No, Rohit believes in his men and has brought the best out of them. Each match, from New York to Florida to Guyana, has further shown that Rohit the leader is not going to get flustered.

Rewind to October-November 2023, and Rohit led India on a breezy run to the World Cup final, where the Pat Cummins-led Australia changed the script. The loss hurt all of us. It hurt Rohit more. And when he was stripped of the Mumbai Indians captaincy, he did not say a word, officially. He played the season under Hardik Pandya, the new skipper.

The scenario in the World Cup is different. Rohit is captain and Pandya his deputy. There is no gossip about friction. Rohit is his own boss, yet he will chat with the men who matter – Rahul Dravid, the coach, and then the seniors like Kohli,Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah. At the press conferences, Rohit has ensured fun value. The way he took on Inzamam-ul-Haq – who had alleged some skullduggery with the ball to generate reverse swing – was scathing but measured.

As captain, Rohit has shown what maturity is, and how to handle a bunch which has immense self-belief. And he has done so without beating his own drum. Now, only the final hurdle remains.  

Also Read: Southgate needs to stop dreaming and wield the axe