Rohit Sharma
In Test cricket, Sharma’s journey had been up and down after his debut in 2013 against West Indies. Image Credit: AFP

Rohit Sharma has made a rapid rise in all forms of cricket by now becoming India’s Test captain. After Virat Kohli was removed as the ODI captain before the South Africa series, Sharma was named as the skipper of the white ball format by the selectors.

But when Kohli quit the Test captaincy after the South Africa series, the obvious choice was Sharma but one was not sure if he would be also named as Test captain because of his fitness issues and also that he would be turning 35 in April meaning age was not on his side. But the selectors decided to go with him and made him the captain for all formats.

Sharma had always done well in the white ball format scoring 9,283 runs in the ODI format in 230 games with an average of 48.60 and 29 hundreds at a strike rate of 89. He had a spectacular 2019 World Cup where he became the first player to hit 5 centuries scoring 648 runs. To add to it, Sharma is the only player to score three double hundreds in ODI cricket which is phenomenal. In the shortest format he is the only player to score 4 hundreds and has 3,256 runs and a strike rate of 140 having played 121 games.

Double century

But in Test cricket, Sharma’s journey had been up and down after his debut in 2013 against West Indies at home where he began with two hundreds. But his technique was exposed in the following series against South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia where he was found wanting. His next hundred came only in 2017 against Sri Lanka. But the tide changed for Sharma as a Test player when he was made to open the innings against South Africa in 2019 where he scored three hundreds in that series which included a double century too. It needed to be seen if he could get the runs in tougher conditions opening the batting away from home but he showed a great application to score a hundred against England at The Oval and was the highest scorer with 368 runs in the four Tests India played. He was also the highest scorer against England at home before the England series and has improved his Test average taking it to 47 from 35 in the 43 Test matches he has played.

Sharma was included in the ICC men’s team of the year for 2021 which was his best year in Test cricket. Till 2019 he was not certain of a place in the side but his graph has gone upwards and his journey in Test cricket is full of inspiration and determination. From being a failed Test cricketer, Sharma went on to become one of the best players currently in the Indian squad and now becoming Test captain is something of a fairytale.