From the days of a babyfaced upcoming batter hailed by many for his talent, Rohit has come a long way as he will be captaining Team India in a World Cup match, a tournament he had missed out as a youngster back in 2011.The omission still pains India’s ‘Hitman’ as he had to settle for watching Men in Blue lift the trophy after 28 years with a memorable win against Sri Lanka in the final at the same venue. 12 years later, he would be aiming to make his first World Cup match at Wankhede special for not only himself but his country too.
Let us have a look at Rohit’s exploits at Wankhede ahead of the match:
2006: This year came the innings that brought him into the spotlight. Coming to bat at number five against Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy Super League (2006/07), Rohit smashed 205 in 267 balls, consisting of 20 fours and three sixes. This double ton made selectors take notice and he was marked for big things in future, as per Mumbai Indians’ official website.
2007: A year after his Ranji Trophy heroics, Rohit made his T20 debut in the Mumbai colours. He bowled a useful spell of 3/15 and then followed it with an unbeaten 40 off 37 balls against Baroda in the Inter-State Twenty-20 Tournament.
2011: After three years in away territory, playing for Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Rohit returned home, joining Mumbai Indians. He played knocks of 87 vs Chennai Super Kings and 58 vs Rajasthan Royals in his first season with Mumbai Indians at this venue.
2012: Fast forward to December 2012, Rohit stepped onto the lush greens of the Wankhede Stadium for his first-ever international match for the Indian cricket team at the venue – the second IND vs ENG T20I of the 2012 England tour of India. He scored 24 runs in that match.
2013: However, he formally announced himself at the Wankhede in 2013. Months after captaining Mumbai Indians to their maiden Indian Premier League trophy, the Hitman would smash his second successive Test hundred (111 not out) against West Indies in November – which was also Sachin Tendulkar’s final outing in the Test whites. His 11 fours and three sixes were the catalysts in India’s match-defining score of 495 runs in the first innings.
2019: Back in 2016, Rohit’s 31-ball 43 went wasted against West Indies in the 2016 T20 World Cup semis fixture at the Wankhede. Three years later, he redeemed himself with a 34-ball 71 – consisting of six fours and five sixes – helping India to clinch a 2-1 series win at the Wankhede Stadium against the same opponent.
With a weight of 1.5 billion people on his shoulders, Rohit will be leading India only for the second time at Wankhede, with the 2017 T20I match against Sri Lanka being his first. Rohit’s men restricted Lanka to 135, which was chased down easily by India.
India captain Rohit Sharma, a colossus in white-ball cricket
He has led MI to 34 wins, 19 losses and a tie in 54 matches at the venue.
Rohit Sharma is the man in form during the World Cup so far, scoring 398 runs at an average of 66.33 and a strike rate of over 119, with best score of 131. He has scored a century and two fifties and is the fourth-highest run-scorer and India’s highest in the tournament so far.
Rohit’s statistics at Wankhede:
Tests: 1 game, Runs: 111 Best score: 111*
ODIs: 3 games, Runs: 46 Average: 15.33 Highest score: 20
T20Is: 4 games, Runs: 165, Average: 41.25, Highest score: 71
IPL: 73 games, Runs: 2,020, Average: 33.11, Highest score: 94.