The first time this happened for Sharma was in late 2013 and early 2014, when he made his test debut after playing limited mode cricket for six years.
Sharma played two tests against the West Indies in India, then flew to South Africa for two tests, then traveled to New Zealand for two test matches in 2013-14. After that, however, the drummer had been in and out of the Test side due to inconsistent performance.
Sharma’s first two tests in 2013 produced centuries and set him on track to reach greater heights, i.e. one who was ready to replace one of India’s hitting greats – Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly – who had dominated the previous two decades.
However, things didn’t go well for Sharma and his next century of testing came four years and 19 test matches later in 2017, as he was in and out of the testing side.
Even that ton of 2017 didn’t help Sharma solidify his place on the testing squad until the 2019 home tests against South Africa saw him rack up big scores in a new role. He made 176 and 127 at Visakhapatnam and 212 at Ranchi against South Africa in three tries.
Immediately after that, Sharma played a few tests against Bangladesh and almost looked like she could play six test games in a row when an injury ruled him out of the New Zealand tour.
Sharma was also unable to play the first two tests in Australia in December, but returned for the last two tests and has now played all four matches against England at home. The series reestablished him as India’s top batsman as he handled delicate surfaces very well in the second and third tests and helped India win.
As of now, Sharma is India’s top scorer in the current series with 304 points and he could overtake Joe Root (338) on Friday as the series top scorer for both teams.
“Rohit got points because his shot selection was good. He played sweeping shots, he played cover, he lifted the ball, played square cups,” said the former Indian batsman and Chief Selector Anshuman Gaekwad at IANS.