The West Indies fast bowler recalled his first reaction as he bowled to a young Rohit Sharma in nets.
Team India captain Rohit Sharma is widely regarded as one of the best openers in modern-day cricket. Rohit’s opening record speaks for itself; in In 105 T20Is, he has scored over 3200 runs with a record four centuries to his name. However, before he was tested as an opener for the first time in international cricket in 2013 by former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rohit was out-and-out a middle-order batter. The 35-year-old star made played in the middle-order throughout his formative years in international cricket, and even in the Indian Premier League.
And before his exploits – both as an opener and captain for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL – Rohit was a part of the now-defunct Deccan Chargers franchise, with whom he also lifted the title in 2009. It was then, when Rohit – who had already made his international debut in the T20 World Cup 2007 – began to truly make a name for himself with his consistent performances in the league. Playing all 16 games in the season in 2009, Rohit scored 362 runs at an average of 27.84, as the Chargers lifted the title in South Africa.
Over 13 years later, one of the members of the title-winning Chargers squad – West Indies speedster Fidel Edwards – has opened up on bowling to then-22-year-old Rohit Sharma for the first time. It was the only IPL season Edwards was a part of, as he played in six matches, taking two wickets.
Edwards – then 27 – had already been an integral part of the Windies setup at that point, and recalled how surprised he was after he bowled to Rohit Sharma in the nets. “From the first time I bowled at him in the nets, I was like, ‘woah, this guy can really bat’,” Edwards told Hindustan Times on the sidelines of the Delhi leg of Legends League Cricket.
Edwards said he knew Rohit was going to be the next big thing in Indian cricket then, and also made a prediction for the Indian captain for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.
“You had a young Indian player that can put pressure on the opponent. When we were at Deccan Chargers, we knew these guys can be really good, and after looking at how they turned out, it’s no surprise. And I’m quite sure Rohit is going to do really well in Australia too,” said the Windies pacer.
Rohit is currently leading India in a three-match T20I series against South Africa, where the side registered a thumping 8-wicket victory over the Proteas in the first game in Thiruvanathapuram.