“Yuvraj made me realize that missing one world cup didn’t define my entire career…”: Rohit Sharma

The journey to success is often paved with challenges and setbacks in cricket. Rohit Sharma, an iconic figure in Indian cricket, recently shared a heartwarming anecdote about how the encouragement of his fellow cricketer Yuvraj Singh helped him overcome a significant setback early in his career.

The year 2011 marked a historic moment for Indian cricket as the nation lifted the World Cup trophy after a wait of 28 years. However, for Rohit Sharma, this tournament held a bittersweet memory. He was left out of the lineup, missing the opportunity to contribute to the team’s victory under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.

Fast forward to 2023, and Rohit Sharma is now gearing up to lead the Indian cricket team in the upcoming World Cup. This event holds immense significance for him, as it will be his third appearance in the 50-over World Cup and his first as a captain. This opportunity signifies a full circle for Rohit, who faced exclusion from the squad during the previous World Cup in India in 2011.

The rejection from the 2011 World Cup squad was a significant blow to Rohit Sharma. It left him disheartened and questioning his future in the sport. However, amidst this disappointment, a ray of light emerged in the form of Yuvraj Singh. The veteran cricketer extended a helping hand to Rohit when he needed it the most.

Rohit Sharma fondly recounted when Yuvraj Singh took him out for dinner shortly after the squad announcement. This simple yet powerful support was a turning point in Rohit’s career. Yuvraj, who had faced his share of exclusions and challenges, shared his experiences with Rohit.

During their conversation, Yuvraj Singh reminded Rohit that setbacks are inevitable in any sportsman’s journey. He reassured Rohit that the setback from the 2011 World Cup did not define his entire career. Yuvraj’s words resonated deeply with Rohit, motivating him to view the setback as an opportunity for growth and self-improvement.

Rohit Sharma’s response to Yuvraj Singh’s encouragement was remarkable. He returned to the drawing board, dedicating himself to refining his skills and making a comeback. And a comeback he made during the 2019 World Cup, Rohit achieved an extraordinary feat by becoming the first batsman to score five centuries in a single edition of the tournament.

Recalling his experience, Rohit said, “I try to put myself in their shoes at times. When I wasn’t picked for the World Cup squad in 2011, it was heartbreaking. I wondered, ‘What’s left after being dropped from a World Cup squad?’

“Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) reached out to me, inviting me for dinner and discussing his own experiences of exclusion. He reassured me that I had years ahead of me and advised me to seize the opportunity to refine my skills and stage a comeback. He made me realize that missing one World Cup didn’t define my entire career,” Sharma said PTI.

Rohit Sharma’s journey reflects the resilience and determination that define great athletes. His experience teaches us that setbacks are not the end of the road; they are merely stepping stones toward success. Yuvraj Singh’s mentorship highlighted the importance of supporting teammates during challenging times.

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“I went back to the drawing board, worked hard, and made a comeback immediately after the World Cup. Things have been going well since then. No one can tell me that is easier said than done. I have faced exclusion in a World Cup, and I know exactly how it feels because I have experienced this emotion”, Rohit concluded.

As the 2023 World Cup approaches, Rohit Sharma is a testament to the power of perseverance and mentorship. His journey from exclusion to leadership exemplifies the spirit of cricket, a sport that goes beyond boundaries to unite players through triumphs and tribulations. Rohit recounted that Yuvraj took him out for dinner soon after the squad announcement.

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