Rohit Sharma's career turned for the better after he became Mumbai Indians captain: Gavaskar
Former Indian Test captain and opener Sunil Gavaskar feels Rohit Sharma has matured after he was handed the responsibility of leading Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League this year.
Given the responsibility to lead Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League has proved to be a turning point in Rohit Sharma's career. During the IPL, the 26-year-old Sharma, who scored a brilliant 127 not out on his Test debut against the West Indies at Eden Gardens on Thursday, was handed the job of leading Mumbai after an out-of-form Ricky Ponting opted out of the playing XI. "I think it was from then that Rohit started valuing his wicket. He learnt to stay at the crease and finish the job. He became more responsible as captain," Gavaskar told NDTV in an exclusive chat on Thursday from Kolkata. (Rohit becomes 14th Indian to hit ton on Test debut)
Sharma featured in two crucial partnerships after West Indies reduced India to 83 for 5. While the first one with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni worth 73 runs for the sixth wicket helped India arrest the slide, the unfinished 198-run stand with Ravichandran Ashwin (batting 92) gave India a 120-run lead by close of play on Day 2 of the Test match. "Rohit really handled the West Indian bowlers well. He used a soft bottom hand to smother the bounce and spin that Shane Shillingford (4/130) got from the wicket. Unlike the other batsmen, Rohit batted sensibly and didn't jab at the ball," explained Gavaskar. (Century was valuable to the team: Rohit)
Gavaskar said all credit for the transformation in Sharma's approach should go to the Mumbai Indians team management. "They made him realize his true potential. Plus credit to skipper Dhoni who knew that there was something special about Rohit and kept faith," Gavaskar said, adding: "Rohit's maturity was clear. Even after getting his century he hung in there to ensure that India got a good lead. It's normal for a debutant to get emotional after a century on debut, but Rohit carried on like a responsible batsman who had the team's goals in his mind." (Day 2 report)