Virat Kohli once narrated an incident of Rohit Sharma catching the eyes of the fellow Indian cricketers with his shot-making ability. Kohli said everyone watching him at the nets were amused with his effortless technique. And it came when Rohit started his career and not many knew about him. Today, he is a Khel Ratna.
Rohit Sharma, who was recently conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, sets easily on the eye with his elegant technique. The opening batsman has captivated the audience with his pull shot which often ends up in the stands. Rohit usually starts off slow and accelerates once he scores his century. He has been a joy to watch over the years.
Moreover, the Mumbaikar is the only batsman to hit three double centuries in the ODI format, making it look like a cake walk. Two of his three double tons have come against Sri Lanka with a career-best score of 264. By his own admission, if he stays at the crease for the first 10 overs it will be difficult to get him out.
All this makes the limited-overs India vice-captain a perfect fit for the Khel Ratna award. His performances propelled him to reach here.
No Khel Ratna for Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Kumble
The National Sports award in 2020 came under scrutiny for the nomination of some undeserving athletes and missing on a few deserving ones. If Sakshi Malik was deserving, Deepak Hooda does not quite fit into the same frame.
But the glitch in the system is not new, it has been there since forever, just not quite rightly exposed.
Khel Ratna awards or the Arjuna has been given to everyone nominated for it these days. However things were not the same in the recent past and Test great Rahul Dravid was a victim to it.
Dravid is a Bharat Ratna. But he missed out on the Khel Ratna to Pankaj Advani in 2006 and Yogeshwar Dutt in 2012.
Dravid is not the only prey to this system. The highest Indian sporting award has also been denied to Sourav Ganguly, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman.
It is high time the committee members, deciding the nomination, self-introspect and make sure that the awards are not going towards the Filmfare direction.