The amount of Rohit Sharma jokes that have been cracked in social media could well fill a book. No matter what the “talented” Indian cricketer does, he continues to be the butt of jokes whenever the going is not good for him (and sometimes when it is too!).
1. What is he doing in the team?
From 2007-12 captain MS Dhoni kept him in the team and all the commentators kept calling him talented much to the chagrin of Indian fans.
During that period he averaged just 30.4 in ODIs and had only one century against a top-eight team. So you can understand the average fan’s bafflement with Rohit.
This is the period when the maximum Rohit jokes were cracked and people still refuse to let go. He got his nickname Nohit Sharma during this period.
Normally he is out in two minutes. And back for his special Maggi noodles... But when he is not out, the innings ends and he is still back for his special Maggi.
India needs DRS… DRS = Drop Rohit Sharma.
2. What is he doing in the IPL?
His form was lacklustre in the T20 form to despite being part of the winning 2007 World Cup squad. He was a pretty low-key player in IPL and Deccan Chargers which hired him in 2008, let go of him in 2010.
Once Rohit Sharma walked into a bar. The manager yelled: Isko mat pilana, ye bahut jaldi out hota hai!
3. Why does he get out to silly shots?
Then Rohit’s luck dramatically changed. He clicked as an ODI opener and became an IPL star captaining a victorious Mumbai Indians. He also had a sensational Test debut. However then his Test form fell and he kept getting out to lazy shots.
That was enough for a new batch of jokes to come out.
Tendulkar should start using Rohit Sharma's bat as a selfie stick to make more use of it.
4. Can he score outside the sub-continent?
If 2007-12 was a disaster for Rohit, then 2013-14 was downright sensational. His average was 52.2 and he had a record two double centuries including a world record breaking 264, unheard of in an ODI before the massive feat.
Still the Rohit jokes continued because people wondered whether he would be able to score outside the sub-continent. People wondered whether he would be able to score in the World Cup because it was in Australia.
There’s a popular meme of a baby pumping his fists…
Text above: I may be nothing.
Text below: But I can bat better than Rohit Sharma overseas.
5. What is he doing in the World Cup?
Rohit continues to prove his critics wrong, but they keep cracking the jokes. He scored 138 in the Australia triangular series. He scored 57* with UAE and 64 with Ireland. So I guess the Rohit critics should have kept quiet.
Nothing of the sort happened and they pointed to his scores against the Test playing nations…
South Africa—0, Pakistan—15 and Zimbabwe—16. There were even calls to drop him from the quarter finals.
There’s a popular meme of a Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka with his chin on his hand…
Text above: What if I told you…
Text below: … that we can still win the World Cup without Rohit Sharma!
Some Tweets before the last league match…
@Ra_Bies We need to stop top scientists at NASA who are so ashamed not having found Rohit Sharma's talent are planning mass resignation
Rohit Sharma couldn't participate in the 'India has got talent' show because he was considered to be over qualified
@tweetingsourav MMS's integrity >> Rohit Sharma's talent
After scoring a half-century versus UAE, a spoof site did a spoof report on how UAE was going to build the world’s tallest invisible tower Burj Al-Talent being impressed with Rohit Sharma’s invisible talent!
6. Next is what?
In the quarter final with Bangladesh, Rohit scored an absolutely brilliant 137 off 126. It was a great innings for many reasons. India made just 99 runs in the first 25 overs and we were in danger of being bowled out for 200-220.
Rohit saved the day and it was a World Cup knockout match on Australian soil. Now you may say that the critics will finally shut up? Don’t bet on it.
Sample Tweets which came on the day of his quarter-final man of the match performance…
@Being_Humor In Rohit we trust. After every 10 matches.
@ChickenBiryanii Aggressive Performance,I am just worried that we need to wait for another 10 matches to see Rohit Sharma hidden talent
@VerifiedBeer Rohit Sharma's talent is like black money. We all know it's there, but aren't sure when and how much will come out.
@coolfunnytshirt This is why we love Rohit Sharma. He steps up his performance whenever it is a big game against Bangladesh.
#NDTVGirlAsks : Do you know Rohit Sharma is the only hindu male talent alive today? Lagarde: FML
As they say, old habits die hard!
The author is a Bengaluru-based journalist and blogger.
He blogs at http://sunilrajguru.com/