The word talent can sometimes be overrated in sports and for some players who are bestowed with that quality have to meet the expectations of the term consistently. To qualify this, Rohit Sharma can be a best example. There was never an iota of doubt that the Mumbai batsman is tailor-made for the international scene but maybe the burden of carrying the expectations of many hampered his progress.
Everyone , including his team-mates, were convinced that one day Rohit will make it big at the international stage and should be thankful to the selectors for having faith in him. Rohit has so far played 93 ODI matches but his average of 31.13 suggests he has been inconsistent and needs to prove a lot more.
After a successful ICC Champions Trophy outing in England, Rohit gets another big assignment in the Carribbean in the upcoming tri-series involving West Indies and Sri Lanka. In the two warm-up games of the Champions Trophy batting in the middle order, he returned scores of 5 and 10. But when the actual tournament started he was promoted to open the innings with Shikhar Dhawan and the move clicked for the right-hander.
Rohit took the challenge head on with conditions in England not always batsman-friendly. He looked to graft at the crease and was ready to play the waiting game when at the other end Dhawan batted aggressively. He looked hungrier for runs and success, which was evident from the shots he was playing on the up - the cover-drives, the on-drives and the cuts and pulls. He couldn't manage a three-figure score, but slammed two crucial half-centuries.
More importantly, with the ball seaming a bit Rohit was not afraid to play on the front foot and batted positively. The prods outside the off stump and reaching out to play a ball far from his body was missing and surely these are signs of a matured batsman, who has learned from his past mistakes.
The new-developed maturity in Rohit could be because of the captaincy role he performed in the recently concluded IPL 6, where he led his team Mumbai Indians to lift the title. However, the support of MS Dhoni can't be denied as he supported and wanted Rohit to grab the vacant opening slots after the departures of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag. It is for sure, Rohit would be opening the batting and to be fair on him the team management should give him time to settle down in his new role.
These are too early days to tout him as the future of Indian batting, but definitely all eyes will be on him when he walks out to bat in the West Indies. Not to forget, during India's last tour to the West Indies in 2011, Rohit had a great ODI series and was Man of the Series, so the conditions won't be alien to him. India is now a shaping team keeping the 2015 World Cup in mind and Rohit has the opportunity to be one of the building blocks, provided what the series has in store for the talented batsman.