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Why the 2023 World Cup campaign is a massive one for Rohit Sharma?

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Rohit Sharma needs to hit eight more sixes to take his one day international tally to 300. Such a feat would make anyone, whether his own compatriot, Virat Kohli or the ‘six-hitting machine’ Gayle really proud, and maybe ditto for a certain Abraham Benjamin de Villiers.

Isn’t it interesting to note that each of these opponents have, at some stage, faced the ire of Rohit’s bat with millions of eyeballs being glued to the IPL games?

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But should Rohit Sharma, who missed out on scoring runs in India’s World Cup opener against Australia, do so in these next few hours, it would be a sight to behold, though not so much for Afghanistan.

Perhaps not only because of the diverse geographical angle attached to it- the Nagpur-born achieving the feat in Delhi, with all of India loving the effort- but also because of the sheer importance of reaching a milestone in a World Cup setting.

But then Rohit Sharma, the teamman, doesn’t play for records; they fall at his feet for as long as he stays at the wicket.

He’s done that on three previous monumental occasions. 

Surely, Kohli, as many would note, is the greater achiever in the One day format, while Babar has the magnificent cover drive, Williamson the grace and Joe Root, glowing numbers in the ODI format.

Moreover, someone like De Villiers has had a wider range of hitting than Rohit. And the Indian captain’s own Mumbai Indians colleague, Suryakumar Yadav has displayed a significantly higher urgency to attack- and with good results- than maybe Rohit, especially early on in an inning.

Yet, none of them have three double hundreds in the fifty over-format. And while nearly all of these men have dismantled Australia and Sri Lanka, the opponents Rohit shredded to pieces in the past; none have done so for a sustained period of hitting.

The math surrounding Rohit Sharma is quite serious and simple, at the same time.

Few in the world can predict an onslaught that the 36-year-old veteran of Indian cricket can bring to the table. Even fewer, whether Hazlewood, Zampa, Rabada, Ngidi, Maharaj, Afridi, Shadab, Rashid, Mujeeb, Mustafizur or Shakib, to name a few, can curb the storm.

Beautiful things happen in World Cricket, brutal batting seems like a poetic song, when Rohit Sharma is on song.

On October 11, 2023, the man who, lest it is forgotten, is yet to score a run in the 2023 ODI World Cup, will be raring to go.

India getting the better of a bowling-heavy Afghanistan, that’s not to say they are a mug with the bat, will be two games won in two.

And while Virat and the returning Rahul have already got themselves useful runs, now Rohit must too.

The added pressure, if at all, the phrase carries any real significance to the right hander, must compel him to stay at the wicket before he unleashes himself, which is his usual mode of operation.

Of course, Shubman Gill, who’d be hopefully watching the game from somewhere, would see a template of just what it means to play a captain’s inning.

At some point in the future, this is what he’d be expected to do.

Having said all that, there’s yet more need for Rohit to bat with some restraint before he goes wild, which well, is such a sight.

The dominant force behind the Mumbai Indians and a batsman India are lucky to have, has scored just 19 runs from the two one-dayers he’s played against Afghanistan.

His most latest World Cup appearance against Afghanistan, prior to the Delhi contest of 2023, saw him score 1 at The Rose Bowl.

Mujeeb-ur-Rahman had made life a little difficult for the batsman. 

However, that was back in 2019. 

In the years hence and up to this point, Rohit’s batted with reasonable aggression and poise.

The only year where he completely missed the trick was 2021, wherein the Indian leader made 90 runs from 3 games, averaging a very modest 30.

A year prior to that, he averaged 57 with the bat; 2020 was the year of the very dashing 119 off just 128 deliveries that came at the MA Chinnaswamy stadium. Rahul, Iyer and Manish Pandey, the latter unbeaten during the successful chase for India, had together made 71 runs.

In 2022, Rohit went without scoring a century despite eight one dayers, and yet, averaged 41 with the bat. It showed his batting, lest the critics thought otherwise, wasn’t just about flying hits to the fence and big strokes.

There’s this class and nonchalance about Rohit that’s hard to emulate. We’ve seen Mark Waugh before, David Gower before ‘Junior’ arrived in the Aussie camp.

And maybe now, someone like a Markram comes to mind, maybe just.

But there are few like Rohit Gurunath Sharma that can disturb the minds of bowlers from around the world and yet give us fans that sense of peace of mind.

Keep going, keep batting, captain.

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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