When A Dream Comes True
When A Dream Comes True
Today, Rohit Kumar is a very popular cricketer. He has achieved almost every award and achievements throughout his career. But every day he faced has not always gone to the boundary fence. Let us look back at his life…..
“Congratulations, you have a son”, exclaimed the doctor. Mr. Kumar was overjoyed. He went inside the room and congratulated his wife. Mr. Kumar named the son ‘Rohit’. “What a beautiful name it is! Rohit” exclaimed Mrs. Kumar.
Mr. Avinash Kumar and Mrs. Siddhi Kumar lived in a medium-sized house in the city of dreams, Mumbai. Mr. Avinash Kumar was a government engineer while Mrs. Siddhi Kumar was a housewife. From the starting, Rohit was a decent child. He was an average student in his class. In the evening, he along with his friends played in a big park nearby their colony. They played many games, from cricket and football to kho-kho and hide and seek. Rohit was always the finest player in any game among his friends.
One day, while they were playing cricket, one of the best coaches in Mumbai, Mr. Harish Singh saw Rohit playing cricket. He sat at one of the benches in the park to watch him play. Mr. Harish was fascinated by seeing Rohit’s game. He again returned the next day and the day after. Finally, after being pleased with this young talent’s game, he introduced himself to Rohit. Rohit at once recognized him. Mr. Harish Singh was a coach at ‘Future Cricket Coaching’ (FCC). He asked Rohit whether he would come in his classes. Rohit said, “I am just a 13-year-old teenager. How can I play between boys who are over 20 years?” Harish explained to him that his coaching is divided into 3 age categories, U-15, U-19 and U-25. He said, “You can play in the U-15 category,” Rohit said, “I will ask my parents and let you know the decision.” He then went home.
He reached home. By that time his father hasn’t returned home. He explained all the details of the offer given to him by Mr. Harish Singh. Mrs. Kumar said. “You know your father is so concerned towards your studies. Will he allow you to go there?” He looked worried. After some time Mr. Kumar returned from his work. He looked at Rohit’s face and said, “Do you want to say something?” Rohit at once said all the things about Mr. Harish Singh’s offer. Mr. Kumar said, “What about your studies? You always say next time you will get above 90%. With this playing, you will not even get 75% this time”. Rohit replied that the time he plays with his friends in the park, he would spend that time in the coaching. To this, Mr. Kumar can’t reply anything. He said, “Ok. I will go tomorrow with you in the park and meet him. But you have to promise that your studies won’t be affected by this.” Rohit happily agreed.
Next day was Sunday so Mr. Kumar was at home. He went along with his son in the park in the afternoon and met Mr. Harish Singh. He took all the necessary details, fees, mobile number and the form from Mr. Harish. Mr. Harish Singh gave an address of a sports shop which he knew. He recommended Mr. Kumar to buy his son’s kit from there and send him to coaching from tomorrow.
In the evening, Mr. Kumar along with Rohit went to the shop which Mr. Harish gave the address to them. They went there and looked at a number of cricketing gears there. Finally they bought up a kit and paid the amount to the shopkeeper.
The next day, in the evening, Rohit went to the FCC. He went inside and met Mr. Harish Singh. He was glad to see him in his gear. The training slot of U-15 category was from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. From that day onwards, he practiced a lot with his other ten U-15 friends. He was a sincere player. He always listened carefully to his mistakes and advice and tips that were given to him by his coach. He was considered the best batsman in the team.
One day the coach announced that they were participating in the Mumbai Youth Cup which was taking place next month. It was a 20 over tournament. Rohit was selected as the captain of the team due to his able decision making. The whole U-15 team practiced with their whole heart and soul in the practice session for one month. One week before the tournament, the coach and the players were deciding the batting order. Rohit was asked to open the innings. After that, Rohit practiced a lot with his new ball bowlers in the practice sessions.
The schedule was released. The teams were divided into four groups with each group was having four teams. FCC was kept in group A. Each team had to play four group matches. Top two teams qualified for playoffs. FCC’s first match was against Cricket Academy (CA)
The whole FCC team practiced even harder. Finally the match started. It was toss time. Rohit won the toss for FCC and elected to bat first. His team had 5 batsman including 1 wicketkeeper, 4 bowlers and 2 all-rounders. His 5 batsmen were Rohit himself, Rahul, Rishi, Manish and Ramesh who was the wicketkeeper while his 4 bowlers were Ishant, Keppel, Shiva and Vaibhav and his two all-rounders were Hardy and Kamal.
Rohit and Rahul opened the innings for FCC. They didn’t had a great start. They lost Rahul in just the 4th over when the score was just 20 runs. Till the 10th over, their score was 70 runs but they lost Rishi and Manish as well. So their score was 70/3. Rohit at the other end was batting at 40*. After the 10th over, Rohit started to accelerate. Till the end of 20 over, FCC score became from 70/3 until 10th over to 160/5 till 20th over. This score was only possible because of Rohit’s brilliant 90* and his decision of playing with two all-rounders.
After a 20 minute break, the second innings started. CA’s innings got off to a flier. FCC’s new ball bowlers Siva and Vaibhav were smashed by CA’S openers all-round the park. They went for 50 runs in just 4 overs without picking up a wicket. Rohit then introduced his spinners Keppel and Ishant in the attack. They bowled the next 8 overs, gave just 50 runs and took 4 wickets. Till the 12th over, CA’s score was 100/4. Then Rohit introduced his all-rounders Hardy and Kamal to bowl the next 4 overs. They just gave 30 runs and also took 2 wickets. Now it was time for Rohit to bring back his new ball bowlers in the death overs. Shiva gave just 10 runs in his last 2 overs. While Vaibhav went for 10 runs in just one over. He also had to bowl the last over. He gave 8 runs in first five balls of the last over and
had to defend 2 runs of the last ball. Vaibhav bowled a slower ball and the ball went up high in the air. “The ball is up in the air and what a running catch by Rohit in the deep. He has won it for FCC. They have won the match by just one run.” exclaimed the commentator. Rohit was elected as the Man of the Match.
FCC won their next three matches with ease and finished group stage as Group A toppers and qualified for playoffs. Rohit finished the group stage as the leading run scorer with scoring 300 runs in 4 matches with a strike rate of 166.7 which was the most. FCC also won the Quarter-Finals and the Semi-Finals and went through to the Finals. In the next two matches Rohit scored 80 and 70. He was the leading run scorer with 450 runs in 6 matches.
FCC faced Cricketing Lads (CL) in the finals of the cup. This was the first match where Rohit didn’t explode of. He went back to pavilion with just scoring 10 runs. Thanks to the lower middle order that FCC finished with a respectable total of 140 but this was still less because this tournament had seen a 209 runs total chased down. Lot of things depended on the bowling attack of FCC. Rohit used his captaincy experience and rotated his bowlers brilliantly but that wasn’t enough as CL score till the end of 19th over was 135/8. CL now needed 6 runs in the last over with 2 wickets in hand. Vaibhav had to bowl the last over. He gave 4 runs in the first five balls. “Now CL need 2 runs in 1 ball with two wickets in hand” said the commentator. Rohit made changes in the field and had set up an attacking field to save single. Vaibhav wanting to go for a Yorker went fuller instead. This gave batsman chance to go all over the top. The ball went for a six. FCC lost the match by 2 wickets but still Rohit was elected as the Man of the Tournament. His performance was appreciated by one and all.
Rohit practiced a lot after that. He got more stardom after that. After one year when he was 14 years old, he was promoted to the U-19 team. There too he showcased his talent and won more awards for him and his team though lost some of them. His performance was appreciated by one and all.
Rohit’s performance led him in getting a place in the Indian U-19 cricket team which had to play U-19 World Cup after two year practice and playing some matches and tournaments. Here also he was asked to play as an opener. Indian team didn’t had a great tournament and were knocked out in the group stage. But Rohit was at his top form. He scored 2 centuries and 2 half centuries in 4 matches he played, but this can’t prevent them from knocking out as they lost 3 out of 4 matches they played. This was due to unable captaincy of his other teammate who was elected as the captain.
Rohit’s credible performance in the U-19 World Cup caught eyes of the selectors of Indian National Cricket Team resulting him being selected in the national cricket team which had to tour Australia after 2 weeks. The tour comprised of 5 ODIs, 3 T20is and 3 Test matches. He was selected as an opener for each format. He had an average debut tour. Scoring 200 runs with 2 fifties in 5 ODI matches, 100 runs in 3 T20i with 1 fifty and 500 runs in 6 innings of Test matches with 2 centuries and 2 fifties. It was a credible performance by a player aging just 19 years.
After a good performance in the Australian tour he was selected for the England tour. Here they had to play limited overs format that is, 5 ODIs and 3 T20i matches. This tour saw a coming age cricketer emerging above the experienced campaigners. In 5 ODI matches, he scored 500 runs with 2 centuries and 2 fifties and playing a crucial role in winning series for India 5-0. In the T20i series, in 3 matches he scored 150 runs which included 2 fifties. His performance led to him being widely nicknamed as ‘Young Gun’ of Indian Cricket.
After giving great performances against two heavyweights of cricketing world, he was elected as the Best Emerging Player of the Year award by International Cricket Council (ICC) and also by Board of Controlling Cricket in India (BCCI). He gave commendable performances till the next few years until he suffered an Ankle Injury when was 22. This injury shocked the world of cricket. This injury prevented him from playing the World Cup which India lost in the Semi-Finals because of not having a dependable opener for the team. This proved Rohit’s worth in the team.
He returned in the team after being away from cricket for more than 6 months. He gave stunning performance the next year in all three formats. He was the leading run scorer in all three formats of the game. His performance that year was that in 25 ODI innings, he made 1780 runs including 6 centuries and 7 fifties. In 12 T20i innings, he made 900 runs including 1 century and 6 fifties while in 20 Test innings, he made 1600 runs including 9 centuries and 4 fifties. By this performance he moved on the top of ICC batsman rankings in ODIs and Test, youngest to do so while on the second position in T20i format. Also by this performance, we was named ICC Player of the Year Award, also the youngest to get this award.
Following 4 years, he practiced a lot with the team and won numerous awards for him as well as the team. The list includes winning the T20i World Cup, Asia Cup, Champions Trophy, Indian Premier League for Mumbai Indians 3 times and also getting the ICC Player of the Year Award 2 times and also getting the Arjuna Award by the Indian Government. But one award which was missing from his Trophy Self was World Cup winner medal. Finally he got a chance to fulfill that when India reached the Finals of the ICC World Cup but then lost to England in the finals.
After a failed World Cup campaign, Rohit was selected as the captain of the team. He was of 26 years. Under his captaincy, India had great 4 years, winning 72 out of 85 ODI matches, 48 out of 59 T20i matches and winning 36 out of 41 test matches. Also under his able captaincy, India won the T20i World Cup, Asia Cup and Champions Trophy. He was also selected as the captain of Mumbai Indians and won 3 out of 4 seasons of Indian Premier League.
Then came the ICC World Cup. 30 year old veteran captain Rohit Kumar led the side to the finals. In the finals against Australia, Indians were struck with an early blow when the captain was out for 10 runs. The team was blown away by Kangaroo bowlers. In the end India was bowled out for just 189 runs and the game became one sided. Australians chased the target comfortably and became the champions and the dream of Rohit of having a Winner World Cup medal in his Trophy Self trashed with this loss. After this loss, Rohit took an oath within, “I would retire only when I have a Winner’s World Cup medal in my Trophy Self.”
Rohit started practicing even harder than ever for the next four years. In the next four years, Indian Cricket Team had a great progress, not only winning matches and tournaments but also finding new players who can perform in any situation of the game. With this young team, India won the Asia Cup and the Champions Cup and lost in the finals of the T20i World Cup.
Indian team was practicing hard for the ICC World Cup, but this time destiny had planned something else. 34 year old veteran captain Rohit got injured in the Warm up matches. This was a big blow for the team. This prevented him from playing the ICC World Cup. The team didn’t had any experienced player. As a result, India was crashed out in the group matches. Rohit’s dream of becoming World champion crashed again. After four consecutive failed ICC World Cup campaign, everyone thought Rohit would retire. But Rohit decided to play one more ICC World Cup. Everyone was shocked, not by this decision but the other decision that he made that was that he was stepping down as the captain of the team. He continued to play as a player, training his young teammates and winning numerous other tournaments for the next 4 years.
Finally the ICC World Cup arrived. This time 38 year old veteran Rohit was playing not as a captain but as a player. This ICC World Cup, Rohit was at his top form. He scored 1010 runs including 5 centuries and 3 fifties till the Semi-Finals. Indians were through to the Finals were they had to face Australia. Australia scored 400 runs in 50 overs. In return Indians were at 370 till the 49th over with Rohit batting at 160*. It seemed like Rohit had to face another failed ICC World Cup campaign. But Rohit had some other plans. The veteran scored 3 maximums in 3 balls but then there was a dot ball which had put the pressure back on Rohit. The equation became 12 from 2 balls. Rohit struck another maximum and now the equation was 6 from 1. In the last ball, the bowler bowled a slower one and the ball went high in the air. “Fielder coming under the ball and he has caught it. But wait the fielder has stepped on the boundary rope. It’s a six. India has won the ICC World Cup. After twenty-four years party starts in the dressing room.” exclaimed the commentator with enormous joy. Rohit’s dream of becoming a world champion has finally been fulfilled.
After becoming the World Champion, Rohit Kumar announced his retirement from all forms of cricket including domestic leagues. This was expected by one and all. Rohit’s 19 glorious years in Indian Cricket ended with a happy note. His overall career included making 28,890 runs in 413 ODI innings including 60 centuries and 95 fifties, making 9,639 runs in 190 T20i innings including 20 centuries and 70 fifties and making 27,790 runs in 310 Test innings including 70 centuries and 90 fifties. That is how a celebrated athlete’s wonderful career came to a perfect end.