Cricketing personalities through their playing style and personalities for some are given monikers and nicknames by fans and at times even pundits.
It is one of the ways spectators feel closer to the game and connect with their heroes on the field by affectionately calling them their pet names.
Whether it’s Universe Boss Chris Gayle, Mr. 360 AB de Villiers, the God of Cricket Sachin Tendulkar, Boom Boom Shahid Afridi, Chase Master Virat Kohli, or Captain Cool MS Dhoni, there are innumerable examples of famous cricket players with their monikers.
Similarly, Indian batter Rohit Sharma also has a catchy nickname that all cricket fans know him by. Rohit Sharma is affectionately known as the Hitman of Cricket or simply the Hitman by his fan and pundits alike.
Rohit has had this tag on him for some time now and there’s certainly no mistaking who the Hitman in cricket is when the name is mentioned.
However, how did this label come about for Rohit, leading him to become the Hitman of Cricket? Here, let’s have a closer look at the term and how Rohit Sharma became the hitman.
Hitman of Cricket
One of the greatest cricketers that India has produced, Rohit Sharma’s penchant for hitting sixes in international cricket by using the long handle makes him the Hitman of Cricket.
A monster six-hitter if there ever was one, not many players have managed to clear the ropes in international cricket more times than Rohit.
It’s this ability of his to go big at the drop of a hat that earned him the nickname by fans on social media as well as from those at the stadium.
But who was the first individual to refer to Rohit Sharma as the Hitman? Well, Rohit himself once revealed the tale behind the Hitman moniker and former Indian cricketer and current commentator Ravi Shastri had a big role to play in the name.
The incident in question dates back to 2013 when India was playing Australia. Rohit was en route to his first double ton in ODIs and he was batting on 197 when he hit a six to complete 200 runs.
In the commentary box when Rohit was completing his double ton, Ravi Shastri remarked: “What a way to bring up 200 in One-Day internationals, they call him Hitman and he has arrived to the party.”
Soon after Shastri had made the comment, India’s fans jumped on the bandwagon and began calling Rohit Sharma the Hitman.
Rohit also elaborated on his moniker during an Instagram live with Yuvraj Singh during lockdown.
“When I scored that (209) runs and I was walking back to the pavilion and obviously they called me for that flash interview after the innings got over and I was really very tired. I told the media manager I can’t go now; please take someone else,” Rohit revealed.
“He said ‘this is kind of a record, you have to come and it goes worldwide and I said okay I’ll come’. I went down and met PD, a broadcaster, who told me ‘Man, you played like a hitman’,” he added.
“That’s how it started and then Ravi Bhai was there towards the end of the presentation and he introduced me like that ‘They call him a hitman’. I think I was the man of the series in that tournament so he was interviewing me and he called me “Hitman” and that’s how it started,” Rohit Sharma recalled.
After his 209, Rohit went on to smash another double ton in ODIs when he scored 264 against Sri Lanka in 2014 and it is the highest score by a player in 50-over international cricket.
A powerful batter who can take a match away from any team on his day, Rohit has lived up to the tag of Hitman with his belligerent style of batting.
He’s nearing 300 sixes in ODIs and has 182 T20I sixes, thereby fitting the bill of being called a Hitamn.
As he approaches the 10,000-run mark in ODIs, Rohit will still feel that he has a lot more to offer Indian cricket and with the 2023 World Cup fast approaching, the Hitman may yet have a few chapters left in his illustrious cricket career.
Photo credit: Alamy