North Sound, Antigua, June 12: For an apparently talented batsman, Rohit Sharma's career graph has hit a lot of crests and troughs as he has struggled to foment his place in the Indian national side. Once touted as the cream of the crop of up-and-coming Indian batsmen, he sunk to sediment status after a dismal showing in South Africa in the 2010-11 season.
Indeed, he seemed to be nothing but an excess piece of baggage on that tour as he notched up an appalling average of 9.80 from 5 matches. That flop-show belied his promise as a stable middle-order batsman and effectively saw his place in the World Cup squad usurped by Yusuf Pathan.
But like the proverbial pheonix, he has not just risen, he has soared from the ashes in the ongoing tour of the Caribbean. To play with the metaphor a tad more, he is on fire, blazing away to the top of the series run-makers' charts with an aggregate of 161. The runs off his willow have come relentlessly and in the face of precarious and pressured situations as he has turned the tables in the 1st and 3rd ODIs against the Windies with a display of deft, calculated stroke-play. He has seamlessly blended aggressive cover-drives, hoicks over midwicket and heaves down the ground with graceful glances and sweeps as he has made the toiling Windies attack eat dust.
Testimony to the fluency of his run-garnering has been his strike rate which is kissing 90 as he has shown clear intent to get on with the job. One hopes that as he sways the Indian selectors into recognising his superlative ability, he will continue to make the most of this tour and who knows, snatch up the man of the series award at the end of it...