Dear India, Why You Hate Rohit Sharma So Much?

Rohit Sharma last scored a test 100 in 2013, he’s scored 111 test runs all of 2015 - so why is he still in the squad?

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Sports
3 min read
With scores of 9 and 4 in the first test against Sri Lanka, Rohit Sharma’s spot in the India XI should be under threat. But it surprisingly is not. (Photo: Reuters)

It is the question that has plagued humanity since the dawn of time. A question so mysterious that it has been pondered by Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Karl Marx.

“Why can’t we all just love Rohit Sharma?”

Not a day passes where I am not stopped in the street by a random passionate Indian cricket fan.

They ask me: Why do the selectors keep picking Rohit Sharma in the Test team?

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP)

This is amazing on two fronts.

Firstly, who knew that Indian supporters even cared about Test cricket? There are no dancing girls, teams owned by cement companies or whimsical international travelling mercenaries in this form of the game.

Secondly, the only people who usually stop me in the street are policemen about to charge me with loitering.

In any event, it is a fair question.

Sharma only averages 35 in Test cricket.

Sure, he has only had 12 matches to prove himself, but many other cricketers over the course of history would have given their left leg for that many chances.

Rob Quiney says “hi”.

Time for Rohit Sharma to make way for Cheteshwar Pujara at number 3? (Photo: AP)
Time for Rohit Sharma to make way for Cheteshwar Pujara at number 3? (Photo: AP)

How quickly we forget that Rohit began his career with back to back centuries. But that was almost two years ago. In India.

During that time, Che Pujara took his average to 47 yet now finds himself on the outer. His last Test series against Australia away was serviceable, but not brilliant.

Rohit is currently poor, but not serviceable.

What secret ingredient does Rohit hold that binds him to the Test team?

Since his debut match, Rohit’s highest score has been 72. Since his debut match, he has made as many single digit scores as he has made double digit scores. Since his debut, even Alistair Cook has reached triple figures.

Amazingly, since his debut, Rohit became the first man in history to make two ODI double hundreds.

And perhaps this is the issue.

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP)

Maybe Rohit is simply a short game terminator? A batting bazooka. A white ball master blaster?

In 4 of the last 5 calendar years, he has averaged over 50 in this format.
A modern day short form genius.
One who forced his way into the Test team via the 50 over game.
One who has the express backing of Ganguly and captain Kohli.
So why hasn’t his white ball awesomeness translated into red ball domination?

He has a Ranji Trophy average of 55. He once made hundreds in both innings of its final. Only Sachin and four others have done that.

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP)

Sometimes, you stumble across across a player that no matter how much you want it to happen, they just cannot bridge that gap between First Class and Test cricket.

No matter how skillful, classy or silky they look, it just doesn’t work out for them at the highest level.

So, next time a random Indian cricket fan stops me in the street looking for the meaning of Rohit Sharma, I’ll know how to counsel him.

Think of it this way bhai. He’s your version of Shaun Marsh.

(Dennis Freedman is a cricket writer, host of Australia’s biggest cricket podcast “Can’t Bowl Can’t Throw”. He was once invited into Shikhar Dhawan’s house. He forgot to bring the barfi.)

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