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The second wind


Rohit Sharma made his ODI debut against Ireland at Belfast, but did not get to bat in the match. He eventually made his mark at the international stage on 20 September, 2007, when he led India to victory by scoring an unbeaten 50 off 40 deliveries against South Africa in the 2007 T20 World Cup. This win reserved India’s berth in the semifinals of the tournament.[He was rightly declared Man of the Match & from there on Rohit was considered a great find for India. Many veterans of the game also said that he would be a great asset for India, especially in Test Match cricket, but to everybody's disappointment Rohit has never been able to cement his side in the Indian team, his fitness & inconsistent performances have both contributed to him not being successful in the international arena.

Rohit has often being criticised for not converting the 30s & 40s into big scores. He has often played himself in & got out when the team needed him to finish the game. He has often been dismissed by playing lazy shots. He has often been labeled as a player who does well in the IPL but has never been able to replicate that performance for his country. He has often been dropped due to his inconsistent performances & poor fitness and until recently has never been able to cement his place in the side in any form of the game.


Sharma scored his maiden ODI half-century against Pakistan on 18 November, 2007 and was selected as part of India's 16-man squad for the CB series in Australia. Here, he scored 235 runs at an average of 33.57 with 2 fifties, including a score of 66 in the 1st final at Sydney partnering Sachin Tendulkar for most of India's successful run chase. Sharma scored a matching winning 86 of 91 balls against the West Indies too. Rohit, along with Harbhajan Singh, got India out of trouble to win the match after they were reduced to 92 for 6. He was widely praised for his calm and matured performance. Sharma won his first Man of the Series award for excellent batting performance throughout the ODI series. Sharma was signed by the Deccan Chargers franchise for a sum of US$ 750,000 a year.[He was one of the leading run scorers in the 2008 IPL season with 404 runs at an average of 36.72 & even with the ball Rohit took wickets at crucial junctures with even a hat-trick to his name. Even for the Mumbai Indians Rohit has been a great asset and has scored crucial runs.
His knocks against the West Indies recently will surely help Rohit’s confidence a great deal. On a difficult pitch with India in deep trouble, with half their side dismissed for just 59 runs chasing a score of 211, Rohit batted brilliantly. What was unlike Rohit was that in a knock of 72 runs, he hit only 3 boundaries & only 1 six. He worked hard for his runs & put a price on his wicket unlike on previous occasions where he often gave away his wicket. Rohit batted with a much more maturity & patience, and this knock might prove to be a turning point in his career, especially with the Test series coming up against Australia. All eyes would now be on Rohit Sharma & if he bats the way he did against the West Indies then it will be great for his career and also for India, considering that the three greats of the game Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and VVS Laxman have only a few more years left. India needs a batsman who can bat on difficult pitches & score runs overseas. It is a great opportunity for Rohit to prove his mettle & make a name for himself in Test match cricket.

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