South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs created ripples with his autobiography, To The Point, when he mentioned that although Indian cricketers were not huge drinkers, Rohit Sharma “can put a couple away when he puts his mind to it”. The observation only spiced up already-existing rumours of Rohit’s ‘party boy’ image.
But the young cricketer isn’t amused by the portrayal. “That’s not who I am at all. Whenever I’d go out, which wasn’t very often, they’d blow it out of proportion. As a result, I have just started staying in,” says the 24-year-old, adding that like any guy his age, he likes to go out and meet his friends. From being a regular Mumbai boy who travelled in local trains from Borivali for his practice sessions, Rohit has come a long way to own a posh pad in Bandra and a swanky BMW 5 Series.
Some day, he looks forward to buy an Aston Martin. “Every young boy dreams of such a lifestyle. I’m also one of them. I strongly feel that there’s no harm as long as you have your priorities right. My priority is to play well; other things are secondary. I want to enjoy my life,” says Rohit, who was adjudged the player of the series in the recent one-day tournament against the West Indies. “I’m happy with my performance, but there’s still a long way to go. And that’s why, besides my game, I’m also working very hard on my fitness and mental strength,” adds the cricketer, who has also broken into the ODI Rankings’ top-50.
Although Rohit accepts he was disappointed and hurt about not being a part of the World Cup-winning squad, he has been performing consistently well in the Indian Premier League (IPL). But despite being one of the most sought-after and highest-paid players in the tournament, he insists, “It was great to fetch such a good price, but it wasn’t about the money. IPL is a great platform.”
Ask Rohit why, unlike his teammates, isn’t he doing as many endorsements, and he shoots back: “All I want to do is play good cricket and I’m happy to talk about that all day long. That’s the most important thing to me.”
And lastly, considering his teammates like MS Dhoni and Parveen Kumar have tied the knot, is he also planning to take the vows? “I’m just 24,” laughs Rohit. “I do want a family someday, but I have to get settled myself first before I can settle down with someone else.”