Hambantota: Rohit Sharma is at once the most exhilarating and exasperating of the younger generation of Indian batsmen. When he leans forward and caresses a length ball on the up through covers, or twirls his wrists and directs a similar ball through mid-wicket, he elicits oohs and aahs; he also attracts anger and frustration when he chases wide deliveries and gifts his wicket away, or plays the loosest of strokes without provocation when, for all practical purposes, he has the bowling at his mercy.
There is something about outrageous talent, perceived or real, that generally tends to get a longer rope. Rohit is no greenhorn - he first played for India in July 2007 - but it's a sign of how much faith has been invested in him and how much confidence the men who matter have in his abilities that despite five modest years at the highest level, he still continues to find favour.
Only Rohit knows what goes through his mind. He has the swagger of youth that doesn't necessarily arise from setting the world afire, and in an era where so much emphasis is placed on body language, he appears not to be too concerned at not realising his huge potential. Admittedly, that's a dangerous assumption to make because no one who plays at this level does not have pride in performance, but if Rohit has as many critics as he has unabashed admirers, it's largely because of the vibes he sends out.