Former all-rounder Irfan Pathan reckoned that Rohit Sharma has shown the calmness and composure of MS Dhoni in his career. Pathan, who announced his retirement in January 2020, said that the 34-year-old Rohit has grown leaps and bounds after being sent to open the batting in the 2013 Champions Trophy. Sharma started his career as a middle-order batter.
In the first five years of his career, Sharma showed a lot of promise, but failed to perform consistently. But over the years, the Nagpur-born cricketer has matured and is currently a fulcrum of India’s setup across all three formats of the game. Pathan said that there was very little doubt on the talent Sharma showed in the early days of his sojourn.
Irfan Pathan lauds Rohit Sharma
“He worked hard on his skill-set and the best opportunity came in the 2013 Champions Trophy. He was given the role of opening the innings and that took Rohit’s career to another level. His performance was a notch above and that improved his consistency as well. We talk about Dhoni being Mr Cool but Rohit is cool as a cucumber,” Pathan said.
Apart from the Champions Trophy, 2013 was also important for Sharma for the reason that he took over from Ricky Ponting as the skipper of the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). MI won the title that year and have won five titles in their career. Under Sharma, the Mumbai-based team is the most successful team in the history of the T20 championship.
He is also one of the leading run-scorers in the history of the IPL, having scored more than 5000 runs since the inaugural edition in 2008. He started his career with the defunct Deccan Chargers before moving to MI. Sharma is again set to lead Mumbai in the 2022 edition of the IPL.
Back in 2019, Sharma became the first batter to notch five centuries in a single edition of the 50-over World Cup. Rohit is currently the skipper of the national team in all three formats. Recently, he also took India to the top of the ICC rankings in T20Is after six years. Rohit became the captain after Virat Kohli resigned from the role.