It was a truly special day for coach Dinesh Lad. His trainee, Rohit Sharma, was making his Test debut at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, while his son, Siddhesh, was making his first-class debut for Mumbai in Chandigarh.
Although Siddhesh fell early in the Ranji game against Punjab, Rohit ensured his coach’s day was made by marking his opening Test with an unbeaten century.
“It’s a big day for me, my elder son (Rohit) was playing his first Test and younger son, his first first-class game,” said Lad. “I had spoken to him on the day he got the double hundred in the one-dayer and asked him to get a hundred on his Test debut. ‘Karoonga Sir, (I will do it) he had said.”
Lad, himself a Ramakant Achrekar student, is from the old school where the longer format of the game is the ultimate honour. Even when Sharma was creating waves in one-day and T20 cricket, his coach would always talk about his dream of seeing him do well in Tests.
“Everyone knew what talent Rohit has, now he is justifying it. I could only catch his hundred scoring shot as I was at the ground, but I am sure his knock would be studded with the cover drives and shots in the ‘V’. Even in the ODI double hundred, he played only cricketing shots.”
“The responsibility of captaincy (Mumbai and Mumbai Indians), has had a positive effect on him. He has started capitalising on the starts.”