They say that the one who can smile even with a volcano about to kiss his feet has already won over a supernova. This man, called Rohit Sharma, smiled even when the entire Chinnaswamy swayed, bubbled and brimmed with excitement, nervousness and a fear of the great unknown. And the next thing we knew was that Team India was right there barging into the gates of another hard-fought victory.
When Rohit Sharma was first included in the playing squad against Afghanistan, the questions rang louder than ever about why should the Indian selection committee go forward with a couple of old war horses. The simplest explanations included World Cup ambitions, having balance in a side that missed the likes of Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya and most importantly having a leader.
Last night showed the world what makes Rohit Sharma one of the finest captains in modern-day cricket. We have heard a lot about MS Dhoni being Captain Cool but when have we ever seen someone whose team is almost trysting with a defeat by the skin of its teeth, smile and tell his team to just remain calm?
That is Rohit Sharma for you. The man who smiles under inhuman pressure and yet knows what exactly does the nation expects from him. People believe that being a captain is only about producing greater numbers and just helping the team to win. This is part right. The actual role of a leader is to manage his team members. For others, it may be a team but for him, it is a family.
The Indian cricket team that is currently walking on the precipice of change, hoping to embrace the superstars who are all set to rock and roll in the offing needed a man who can guide them like an elder brother does. When the stakes were sky high and it felt like Team India may just slide down, Rohit stepped up as the visionary, asking Mukesh to get the job done and there was all but hesitation despite the fast bowler going for so many reasons.
Despite missing out on the first two balls, chasing 17 runs in the first super over, Rohit never seemed fazed. He knew what he was capable of and that confidence in him is exactly what makes him the leader that Team India needs him to be. Two massive sixes and India was brimming with confidence.
Finally came the first masterstroke, just when Afghanistan was busy in some serious team discussions, hoping to throw the Indian batters in disarray, once they were done and all set to roll, Rohit decided to walk out, leaving an entire shadow of doubt upon the Afghan bowlers. All the strategy went down the drain and they were trying to figure out, what exactly did happen.
From hoping to keep Yashasvi Jaiswal silent to witnessing something unprecedented happen, their self-confidence took a nosedive. Come the second Super Over, and Rohit was at the madness once again, blasting a couple of imperative boundaries right up front.
Despite things going downhill for the Men in Blue from thereon, Rohit had another ace up his sleeve and when that was unfurled, the entire world was left shocked in admiration and questions. Ravi Bishnoi, a leg-spinner was handed over the ball and he got the job done even before Afghanistan knew. In an interview later, Bishnoi said that he had described the entire plan to Rohit earlier and the Indian skipper believed in him.
Belief they say is a magical word and when your captain believes in you, that too in such a clutch juncture, as a player your heart also wants to pull off the incredible. That is what sets Rohit Sharma special.
He isn’t that extraordinary Godsend for the Indian cricket team. He makes quite a lot of errors like Dinesh Karthik questioned his returns but on the day when Rohit’s bat speaks, no matter the bowlers, even if God came disguised as a certain Starc or Anderson, the Hitman would not mince words.
As a captain, well, as we said, the one who smiles when the volcano is touching his feet and the next thing we know is that he takes his team on a ride miles away from the planet that has any volcanoes whatsoever, well, quoting Gordon from Batman, “Rohit is not the captain we deserve but he is the leader we need.”