Rohit Sharma: Champion On And Off The Field – A Journey Of Triumph

Having retired from T20Is after leading India to a long-awaited victory in the 2024 T20 World Cup, Rohit Sharma’s legacy extends beyond cricket to encompass philanthropy and social welfare. Undoubtedly, Rohit Sharma merits a special mention.

India has returned home with the cup it had long been waiting for and clinched a well-deserved victory in its final battle against South Africa. This was a long journey and definitely not an easy one.

Before reaching the finals the India team faced its old rival in the semi-finals of the tournament. The match with England, who had taken the cup last time, felt almost like a deja vu. But as we all witnessed Rohit Sharma’s brilliant performance propelled India to the finals and also to its well-deserved victory. So let’s take a look at the star boy who had gathered all the limelight in this season of cricket.

A Glimpse Of Sharma’s Early Life

Rohit Gurunath Sharma also known as ‘Hitman’ was born on April 30 1987 to Gurunath Sharma and Purnima Sharma. In his early years, he spent his life in Borivali and was raised by his grandparents because of his father’s low income and other financial challenges. He would only visit his parents during weekends who resided in Dombivili.

From Off-spinner to World-class Batsmen

In 1999 came the turning point in his life and our beloved ‘Hitman; joined a cricket camp with the help of his uncle’s money. There he met coach Dinesh Lad who persuaded him to pursue his studies in Swami Vivekananda International School, where Lad himself was the coach and the institution also provided better cricket coaching facilities. Sharma recollects, “I told him I couldn’t afford it, but he got me a scholarship. So for four years I didn’t pay a penny, and did well in my cricket”.

Sharma had a knack for bowling and started off as an off-spinner, but his coach realized a better potential in his batting and promoted him from the 8th position to the opener of innings. He made waves in the Harris and Giles Shield school cricket tournaments, smashing a century in his debut as an opener.

The Debut

Sharma made his List A debut for West Zone against Central Zone in the Deodhar Trophy at Gwalior in March 2005, batting at number eight. He remained unbeaten on 31 as West Zone secured a 3-wicket victory with 24 balls to spare.

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In the same match, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja also made their debuts. However, it was Sharma’s standout performance—an unbeaten 142 off 123 balls against North Zone at Maharana Bhupal College Ground in Udaipur during the same tournament—that catapulted him into the limelight. Following this, he toured Abu Dhabi and Australia with the India A squad and was named in India’s 30-member probable list for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy, though he ultimately did not make the final squad.

Journey With Team India Begins

In November 2013 during the time when the Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell series was going on Sharma made his test debut at Eden Gardens in Kolkata against West Indies and scored a good 177 runs, which is the second-highest score on debut next only to Shikhar Dhawan.

In the 2019 test match against South Africa, he scored his first double-century and his 2000th run as well. Sharma was named captain of India’s Test team in February 2022, taking over from Virat Kohli just before a two-match series against Sri Lanka.

Sharma appeared in the cricket world cup for the first time in March 205 and played 8 matches for India in the 2015 tournament in Australia. On April 15, 2019, Sharma was appointed vice-captain of India’s squad for the 2019 World Cup in England.

On October 8, 2023, during the ICC Cricket World Cup, Sharma took charge as captain of the Indian team in a pivotal match against Australia. This milestone marked his first time as the Indian captain in the Cricket World Cup and also made him the oldest-ever leader in the innings at that time. It was a testament to Sharma’s seasoned expertise and leadership prowess in the field of cricket

Rohit Sharma joined the IPL in 2008 and since then he has maintained a successful streak. Under his leadership, Mumbai was able to clinch the IPL titles in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020, along with winning the former Champions League Twenty20 competition in 2013.

Sharma’s Top Memorable Moments

  • Amidst numerous defining moments on the field, Rohit Sharma’s journey to greatness took shape. But there are some specially picked moments that he cherishes as most memorable.
  • 2007 T20I World Cup Victory, here the Indian bowlers performed outstandingly well against Pakistan. India was able to stop Pakistan’s ascend at just 158 runs and chased it down leading to their win.
  • Well, his debut test match definitely makes this list where he scored 177 in the first innings and 133 in the second innings.
  • The 2014 ODI in November where he scored a staggering 264 runs against Sri Lanka, at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. His score is still the highest individual ODI score in history.
  • Well no one would ever forget if they could get a chance to play with Sachin Tendulkar, and during the Commonwealth Bank series they both carried a 100-run partnership, although the match was lost to Australia, their knock together is what makes it quite memorable.

Inclination Towards Philanthropy

Sharma is an animal lover and is always engaged in working for their cause and promoting various welfare initiatives and is quite vocal about that cause.

In February 2015, Sharma teamed up with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to advocate for the sterilization of homeless cats and dogs, highlighting his commitment to animal welfare. In 2018 on the occasion of ‘World Rhino Day’ he was announced as the WWF-India Rhino Ambassador.

The right-handed batsman has definitely grabbed some limelight in the latest season of cricket during the T20 World Cup. Under Rohit’s captaincy, India secured victory in the 2024 T20 World Cup, and this makes him the only Indian captain to secure a victory twice. He also holds the distinction of being the first player to win 50 matches as captain in T20Is.

Having retired from T20Is after leading India to a long-awaited victory in the 2024 T20 World Cup, Rohit Sharma’s legacy extends beyond cricket to encompass philanthropy and social welfare. Undoubtedly, Rohit Sharma merits a special mention.

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