‘He got the beating of not playing the 2011 World Cup’: Irfan Pathan explains Rohit Sharma’s terrific turnaround
Rohit Sharma was left out of India’s 2011 World Cup squad and Pathan feels the disappointment egged the batsman on to work even harder and return stronger than ever.Updated: Jun 27, 2020 21:21 IST
Former India left-arm quick Irfan Pathan has attributed hard work as the biggest reasons behind the success of Rohit Sharma. Irfan, who was Rohit’s teammate when India won the inaugural T20 World Cup and defeated Australia in the CB series final six months later, highlighted how the batsman never shied away from putting in the extra yard during his early years, even if his body language suggested otherwise.
“Lot of people are mistaken when they see a guy who has lot of time and he is slightly more relaxed than compared to Rohit,” Irfan said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports. “Then you say he needs to work hard! Same things were said about Wasim Jaffer, when you look at his aura, when he used to run he used to run very relaxed, when he used to bat he had lot of time and we used to think – why isn’t he working hard – but actually, he was working really hard.”
Rohit announced himself on the international stage with a stirring half-century against South Africa in the T20 World Cup, followed by a crucial knock of 30 not out in the final against Pakistan. In Australia, in the first final of the CB series, Rohit scored 66 and partnered Sachin Tendulkar in a match-winning stand of 113 runs as India chased down 240 to win the match and eventually the series. However, Rohit struggled to maintain consistency and was left out of India’s 2011 World Cup squad.
His career took off during the 2013 Champions Trophy when he started opening the innings for India. Rohit himself has admitted several times in the past that not being part of the World Cup 2011 squad was pretty hurtful, and Pathan feels the disappointment egged the batsman on to work even harder and return stronger than ever. The best of Rohit – scoring three ODI doubles, making the most 150-plus scores and hitting five World Cup hundreds – was unleashed after Rohit’s transition as an opener.
“With Rohit, from outside we used to think he might need to work more harder, he might need to put more application,” Pathan said further.
“Whenever you talk to Rohit Sharma, he used to always talk about sensible things, he used to always talk about working hard and he used to always talk about the team first as well, that is why you see some of the results he got at the captain of the Mumbai Indians team. He got the beating of not playing the world cup and then came back really hard because of a strong mindset after 2012.”