The day that broadcasters and fans of the IPL had been building for a week had finally arrived. Date 30 April. At least the Indian cricket fans don’t have to make this day special anymore. Just as 23 April, 7 July and 5 November are now known as the birthdays of Sachin, Dhoni and Virat, today 30 April has come to be known as the birthday of the captain of the Indian cricket team and the hitman of millions of fans. Today is the same day. Sharmaji turned 36! How did Rohit, who currently fits the bill of the best, reach here from the alleys of Borivali? This running track taken by him…
Many people do not know that Rohit Sharma, who is known worldwide as a Mumbaikar, is a Nagpurkar by birth. However, his relationship with Nagpur is only that. His family came to Mumbai at an age that Rohit didn’t even understand. The situation at Rohit’s house was barely there. Taking care of two children was also a chore for his father. So Rohit used to stay sometimes with his grandparents, sometimes with his uncles and sometimes with his parents.
While the Indian cricket star spent his childhood in Mumbai, how can Rohit not get the same feeling? Rohit was born with natural quality. He was enjoying small and big competitions. In this way, Johri named Dinesh Lad caught his eye! He knew at first sight that this boy would make a name. He advised him to enroll directly in the Swami Vivekananda School where he was a teacher. However, Rohit, who was aware of the financial situation of his family, refused. Lad Sir understood this situation from somewhere. He made sure that cricket should not be stopped for any reason. After much persuasion they succeeded in getting Rohit a sports scholarship for 4 years. And from there started Rohit’s journey to become a hitman.
In Mumbai cricket where hundreds of kids are preparing to become Sachin every year, Rohit was on his way to becoming ‘Rohit Sharma’. In age group cricket, no one was even calling for him. Lad Sir was working hard out of him with discipline and equal affection. At the age of 17-18, his name started to dominate in domestic cricket. Back in an interview, Virat Kohli was saying, “In the beginning of 2007, there was a big discussion about a player named Rohit Sharma coming. Little boys killing the good guys. We used to say we are his age too. What exactly is in it? But when he saw him batting in the T20 World Cup and said, Ye cheese hi alag hai.”
Rohit Sharma entered mainstream cricket from the same T20 World Cup. Next came the IPL, it became popular. Team India consistently got opportunities. Rohit was a flop if he missed a second innings. This is what happened and the ticket to the 2011 ODI World Cup was lost. Junior Virat got a chance. But, we have a saying, what happens is for good. Not getting a place in the World Cup team was a turning point for him.
As Dinesh Lad says, Rohit had talent, but no seriousness. The ‘Jo Hoga Dekha Jayega’ attitude like a typical ‘Mumbai boy’ ended after that incident. He started practicing day by day. Fitness came and there was also a comeback in Team India. That was the time when the senior players of Team India were dropping out. Rohit was getting a chance but he was a super flop on the tour of Sri Lanka. Dhoni then decided to drop him as an opener in the 2013 Champions Trophy.
This decision is exactly the way Ganguly opened the finisher to Sehwag. At that time Sehwag justified Ganguly’s decision and this time Rohit justified Dhoni’s decision. Rohit, who dropped out of school to watch Sehwag as a child, started carrying his legacy forward at the same place.
In the same year, the responsibility of captaincy of Mumbai Indians fell on Rohit’s shoulders. The legacy of ‘The Ricky Ponting’ was to be carried on there too! Rohit, who took over the leadership after half a season, made the team a champion. Records were being created as an opener in international cricket. Second IPL trophy in 2015 and third in 2017. Rohit became the most successful captain of IPL. And here is the new name ‘Hitman’!!!
Mumbai became champions two more times in 2019-2020. Rohit has proved his worth in international cricket. Rohit Sharma was the third name in the ‘Incredible Three’ of Indian cricket after Dhoni and Virat. In 2021, the captain of Team India reached this journey which started from Borivali. Strong backing of earned records and runs! And more importantly the immense amount of hard work he put in! (Special story about Rohit Sharma read here)