Abu Dhabi to Durban, Sharma on a roll
By K.R. Nayar, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: September 21, 2007, 23:15
Dubai: Abu Dhabi was the launching pad for India’s latest hero who knocked out South Africa from the Twenty20 World Championship on Thursday.
Rohit Sharma, representing India ‘A’, had cracked a 56 against UAE and a sparkling 62 against Pakistan at the Zayed Cricket Stadium to walk away with the Best Batsman award.
It were these knocks that fetched him a place among the probables for the Champions Trophy and later won him a place in the Indian team for the tour of Ireland in June 2007.
Speaking about Sharma’s superb knock in Abu Dhabi, UAE wicketkeeper Abdul Rahman said: “Sharma exhibited his fine talent during his knock against us for the India ‘A’ team. I found him the most talented batsman among the youngsters that played for India ‘A’ in the match.”
Incidentally, it was Rahman who caught him off the bowling of Zahid Shah for 56.
“Sharma possessed lovely drives. His on-drives were a treat to watch. It was evident that he would soon make it to the Indian senior team,” added Rahman.
On Thursday, in Durban, Sharma stunned the South Africans with a 50 off 40 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes. He also brilliantly ran out Justin Kemp to walk away with the Man-of-the-Match award.
Speaking to Gulf News in November 2006, Kiran More, the former Indian selector, had said: “Sharma is one of the finest batsmen in the country today and will soon clinch a top spot in Indian batting line-up.”
Sharma, though born in Nagpur, lives in Borivli, a Mumbai suburb. He is a product of tennis ball cricket who went on to play for the Mumbai under-14 and under-17 teams, before making it to the Indian under-19 and India ‘A’ teams.
Sharma is also considered as a specialist batsman for the Twenty20 format. He became the first Indian batsman to hit a century in this shortest version of the game.
In the first ever official Twenty20 match played at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, between Mumbai and Gujarat, Sharma had cracked an unbeaten 101.