Rohit Sharma – “I’m Carrying a Billion Dreams on my Shoulders”
Cricket fever hits England and Wales this June as the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy brings the biggest stars of the game for a One-Day International tournament.
What's your game plan?
One batsman the crowds will be vying to see is Rohit Sharma, the Indian cricketer with two double centuries to his name.
It hasn’t always been records for the 30-year-old. His performances have come in peaks and troughs but, through it all, he has used his humble beginnings and his commitment to his fans to stay focused on scoring runs despite the media and a billion eyes watching him.
This is Rohit Sharma’s game plan.
How did you fall in love with cricket?
Cricket is like a religion in India. People follow it like a religion and I was fascinated by the game from an early age. I grew up watching cricket. Just like any other kid, I used to play in my backyard with my friends, school friends, college friends and then lots of my close friends said, “Why don’t you go and try at the higher level because you’re good at it?”
You made that step thanks to the generosity of others. Did these circumstances shape the person you have become?
Absolutely, I think more than being a good sportsman you have to be a good human being. My father always told me this. “No matter what level of cricket you play, you always have to be a good human being.” I always had in my mind that no matter what I did on the field, people will remember you for how good a person you were, not just the cricketer. I came from a very humble background and I never want to forget that.
What style of captaincy do you give the Mumbai Indians?
As captain I want to make sure that my players are confident; confident that they have the backing of senior players, management and coaches. At the end of the day, it’s not about you; it’s about your team. We are 11 players who go and play. A game cannot be won by a single individual. You need the other 10 as well.
When you peak, you really shine. You’ve got two double centuries already and how does it feel to create a little bit of history that’s got your name on it?
It feels really, really great, because these two double hundreds came at a crucial time in my life. The first was in 2013 against Australia. There was a lot of talk in the media that I wasn’t scoring big runs. I was scoring, but just not getting the big ones. But I just told myself, “Bat as long as you can, do not worry about the score or anything else around you. If you bat till the end, we’ll get the maximum runs.” That’s exactly what I did.
The 264, the world record, I was coming from a long lay-off of about two and a half months. We were going to play the World Cup in Australia and I wanted to show myself that I’m good enough to be at that level.
You don’t get to play for your country just like that; it’s an honor to be a part of the team, to be part of your country’s 11 players.
What advice do you have for others who are making their own little piece of history?
I would tell them to always enjoy what you’re doing. Whether it’s business, whether it’s sport, whether it’s your lifestyle, whatever it is you’ve got to enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it then there’s no point to it. I feel enjoying the moment is the key and whatever you do you should take a lot of pride in it. You’ve got to make every day count, and just live it to the fullest.
As a top-order batsman and former captain of the Indian cricket team and played IPL for the Mumbai Indians team as a captain in many seasons, Rohit Sharma is well aware of the immense pressure he faces every time he steps onto the field. But instead of letting it overwhelm him, he has embraced this responsibility and used it as motivation to perform at his best.
Sharma's statement is a testament to the passion and dedication that he and many other cricketers in India have for the sport. It shows that they understand the significance of their role as not just athletes, but also as ambassadors for their country and its people.
In conclusion, Rohit Sharma's statement highlights the incredible pressure and expectation that comes with being a cricketer in India. It also shows the immense pride and determination that players like him have in representing their nation and fulfilling the dreams of their fans.