Reborn and raring to go

It has been four months since Rohit Sharma played any form of competitive cricket and even longer since he played his last domestic game, not counting his IPL appearances. The lay-off was caused due to an injury to his thigh during the final ODI that India played against New Zealand in October. It was evident from the way Rohit reacted that it was quite a serious injury. Four months, a surgery, and some tough times later, Rohit Sharma spoke about his rehabilitation and his way back into the game he loves so much.

After the surgery, Rohit had to exercise strict rest at home, which was one of the most frustrating tasks for him. For someone who enjoys training and being at the heart of the action on the field, he missed the game dearly. "I have been out for a long time. I missed playing for the last four months. It was frustrating but there was hardly anything I could do about it," he recalls. And, on how he did not let the frustration get to him, he adds, "It was important not to get frustrated during that phase. Rather than getting frustrated, what was important was to stay positive. You had to think about ways to comeback fitter and stronger."

The Hitman was overtly relieved when he could move out of his bed and walk, "Once I got off the bed and started walking, I was feeling more refreshed. Once I came to NCA in December, I started working on my quadriceps.’’ Once you get injured and undergo surgery, the body goes through quite a lot and returning isn’t a walk in the park. "When you go into a surgery, you lose a lot of muscle. The biggest challenge is to get that muscle and strength back. All your hard work that you had done in the past would mean nothing if you don’t get your strength back. My challenge was to get that strength back. Once I started running and moving well, I felt much more confident."

The Mumbai Indians captain credits a major part of his recovery to the physiotherapists at the NCA, where he began training. "It was a long procedure. When you have a big surgery, and start your rehabilitation process, you have to go about things systematically. The physiotherapists at the NCA have been brilliant throughout my rehab process. They laid down a fitness regime and kept a tab of it."

Rohit was most pleased when he got to pick up the willow once again, but there was a lot running through his mind at that moment too. "Once your body was ready, you couldn’t just walk to the nets and have a go. I only got back to the nets last month and felt good. When you start batting after a long time, you have to go step by step. I started off batting with a bowling machine first and tried to adjust to a particular spot on the pitch from where I could hit the ball cleanly – be it drives, cuts or the pull." Eventually, his confidence soared and we’ve all seen what he can do when he enters that zone. "Once I was confident batting against the bowling machine, I started batting against the net bowlers, which gave me immense confidence. That is the reason I felt I am ready to go. I had a word with the physios and trainers here and they were happy with my fitness too. Now, I can’t wait to get back on the field."

Like most players, Rohit feels that the injury can’t be forgotten and it has left an impact on him somewhere. Reflecting on the last four months, Rohit wants to look at the positive side of the whole episode. "When you are injured and go through the process of getting match-fit and then come-back to playing ways, the injury will always be in the back of your mind. It cannot be completely off but I feel it is better to go out there and enjoy yourself. I am happy with the way the things have gone. I want to put the tough times behind and move ahead positively. I have missed the game for a long time and now that I am getting a chance to wear those pads and walk on the field, I want to play freely. At the moment, I just want to get on the field and see how my body feels. I am not thinking too far ahead. I am looking forward to going to Chennai and playing the two games in the Vijay Hazare Trophy."He even tweeted out saying "Finally done with rehab, Can't wait to play Vijay Hazare on 4th & 6th. Thank you to everyone who helped me get here. Counting down the minutes."

The Mumbai team will be overjoyed at having Rohit Sharma’s experience and the excitement is mutual. "I am quite excited. I am going to play a game after a long time. I cannot wait now. I just want to take that flight and march on to the field. I want to take guard and start batting. That is what I love doing and that is what I have missed all this while. I will be playing for Mumbai after a long time and it will be a great feeling to wear that Mumbai jersey and get back to the field." We wish our skipper, all the luck and we hope he hits his straps as soon as he gets out there on the pitch.

Quotes courtesy: BCCI

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