Mumbai, April 30 (IANS) The smiling face of daughter Samaira running into his arms coupled with the warmth sprayed around the house by wife Ritika would have greeted India's modern day cricketing great Rohit Sharma — lifting the pall of gloom around due to testing times — as the ‘Hitman' turned 33 on Thursday.
Wishes kept pouring in from the cricket fraternity as India's limited overs vice-captain and one of the most destructive openers in the game, Rohit, celebrated an unusual birthday locked up in his Mumbai residence with wife and daughter, far away from the razzmatazz of the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he is the most successful captain, leading Mumbai Indians to four titles.
“As the clock strikes 12, we wish our Captain – our Leader more boundaries, more sixes, more runs, more records and many more trophies Paltan, send out your wishes with #HitmanDay #HappyBirthdayRohit #OneFamily @ImRo45,” Mumbai Indians said in a Twitter post, when the clock struck midnight.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) too posted a video on Twitter, remembering Rohit's debut in Test cricket. “Happy Birthday, Hitman, On @ImRo45's special day, here is a recap of The Hitman show in whites. This one was in one of his favourite hunting grounds – Kolkata,” read the post.
“Happy birthday to Rohit Sharma, a master of the pull shot,” the International Cricket Council (ICC) wrote on their Twitter handle.
India head coach Ravi Shastri added: “Happy Birthday, Sharmaaaa! Have a great year ahead. Here's wishing you and your family health and happiness. God bless.”
India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane tweeted: “Wishing you a very happy birthday Ro! Hope Samaira is keeping you busy at home with all her love and cuteness… Best wishes always!”
Calling him the best white-ball cricketer in the world, former India opener Gautam Gambhir tweeted: “Happy Birthday to the best white ball cricketer in the world @ImRo45! Have a great year ahead!!”
Rohit's long-time opening partner Shikhar Dhawan said in a Twitter message: “Happy birthday partner @ImRo45, hope you keep striking the ball out of the ground as clean as a shooting star.”
Mayank Agarwal, Rohit's Test opening partner, also wished him with a picture of when Rohit guided him to his first Test hundred. “Throwback to this special moment with @ImRo45 as he guided me to my first test hundred. Happy Birthday, Rohit! Can't wait to recreate this!,” Mayank wrote on his Twitter handle.
“Wish you a very happy birthday @ImRo45 bro, hope you have a great year full of happiness, fun and good health,” wrote Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara on his Twitter handle.
Former India pacer Rudra Pratap Singh capped it off well, by tweeting: “The wonder kid has now become a legend!”
Since making his debut in 2007, Rohit's career sky-rocketed after he was asked to open for India in the 2013 Champions Trophy. In 224 ODI matches, Rohit has 9,115 runs at 49.27 with 29 hundreds and 43 fifties. He has played 108 T20Is scoring 2,773 runs at 32.62 with four tons and 21 half centuries. In Tests, Rohit has 2,141 runs at 46.54 with six hundreds and 10 fifties.
“Rohit is the only player to have recorded more than one ODI double century, having passed the 200-mark on three separate occasions. His 264 against Sri Lanka in November 2014 gives him the record for highest individual score in the format, comfortably ahead of second-placed Martin Guptill, who scored 237 not out against West Indies during the 2015 World Cup,” ICC said in a tribute to Rohit's ODI dominance in numbers.