India vice-captain Rohit Sharma’s childhood coach Dinesh Lad on Wednesday said that his ward’s career started focusing on the game with renewed vigour after being omitted from the victorious 2011 World Cup squad.
Rohit Sharma has already scored two-match winning hundreds in the ongoing World Cup – against South Africa and Pakistan. “Since childhood I have seen his batting and there is no difference as such. Today Rohit is matured, and that is because of his experience”, Lad told PTI.
“Between 2007-’09 he had played well and scored two hundreds against Zimbabwe. After that, because of fame and money, he lost a bit of focus.
“He was not looking after his cricket. Because of that, he was also dropped from the 2011 World Cup as he was not performing well,” said Lad.
“That [being omitted] was very shocking. I called him [Rohit] over and told him, ‘listen Rohit, you are here because of cricket. You earned fame and money through cricket. But [now], you are not looking after your cricket, so I request you to start practicing.’”
He added, “I told him, ‘Virat [Kohli] made his debut after you did and he is in the  World Cup squad. Now, you have to look after your cricket.’”
Lad, who is the father of Mumbai veteran Siddhesh, said that his advice paid dividends as Rohit Sharma emerged as a completely different batsman after that period.
“From that [period], he [Rohit] started practicing from seven in the morning till five in the evening,” he said.
Lad also thinks that getting into the Mumbai Indians’ camp proved to be a game-changer for the 32-year-old.
“[Being selected for Mumbai Indians] It made a difference to his career for him to get into that side; to know how to handle a team. And from close quarters, he saw the discipline of his idol Sachin Tendulkar. That’s why, after 2011, his career graph has been up,” Lad said.