From T20s to ODIs to Tests, Rohit Sharma banks on momentum
After leading Mumbai Indians to the double of Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 titles, Rohit Sharma said he was mentally prepared for his debut Tests after a high-scoring ODI series versus Australia.
If Cheteshwar Pujara is India's prolific run-getter in Test cricket for India, and Virat Kohli's consistency as an ODI player has forced the pundits to sit up to take notice, it is Rohit Sharma's form that has been a revelation of late. (Read: Day 2 report)
On Day 2 of the second Test against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium, Rohit hammered a swashbuckling second successive hundred to record a brilliant start to his career in the longest format of the game.
While the day was focused around expectations from retiring great Sachin Tendulkar in his 200th and final Test, Rohit stole the show along with fellow centurion Pujara.
However, the Mumbaikar's hundred on home soil was not easy. Rohit batted mostly with the tail-end -- and was caught of a no-ball -- but he remained unruffled and focused to score back-to-back tons. Rohit became the second Indian to score hundreds in each of his first two innings, after Sourav Ganguly, who scored 131 and 136 against England in 1996. (Also read: Sachin's innings was best)
After his unbeaten 111 that helped India take a huge 313-run lead over the West Indies, Rohit recalled his amazing run of form leading up to this performance against the West Indies. He took over captaincy of the Mumbai Indians from Ricky Ponting and guided the team to a maiden Indian Premier League title, adding the Champions League Twenty20 title to his kitty two months later. The 491 runs he recorded in the seven-match series against Australia is a world record for the highest runs tally in a bilateral series in ODIs. (Click here for Day 2 highlights)
"Good things are happening to me after the Jaipur ODI against Australia. I won the CLT20 with Mumbai Indians and I carried forth the form into the Australia ODIs. Then I translated the form to the Test matches," Rohit said after second Day's play at the Wankhede Stadium.
The 26-year-old was promoted to open the batting in January and the promotion in the batting order seems to have done wonders for him. In 22 ODIs this year, Rohit has 1071 runs at an average of 59.50. Former India greats Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri have already said that the Mumbai Indians' captaincy transformed his career for the better.
Rohit was earlier announced as Mumbai's skipper in the Ranji Trophy and the homeboy hero, who got a rousing reception while coming onto bat at the Wankhede on Friday, says his experience of playing here in domestic cricket held him in good stead.
"Since my childhood days, I have played a lot here at this ground. Day 2 and Day 3 are the best days to bat here," he added.
The stylish right-hander's 127-ball knock was laced with 11 fours and three sixes and he thanked his number 11 partner Mohd Shami for sticking it out with him.
"I really thank Shami for the support. He kept his cool and went for his shots only after I reached three figures," he said.
On the match situation at the Wankhede, with West Indies 43 for 3 after stumps on Day 2, and India needing another 7 wickets to win the game, Rohit is confident that his side will do the right things on the third day to inflict another innings defeat on the visitors and give 'God of Cricket' Sachin Tendulkar a perfect farewell gift.
"It (the pitch) is also known for its bounce and turn. Hopefully our spinners can turn it even more and win it for Sachin tomorrow," he said.