Rohit Sharma is way too many things to way too many people. He always has been. While he closed in on 100 ODIs, questions were raised repeatedly over whether he was good enough to play for India. Through some of his toughest times, he always had his backers - those that saw far more than was obvious on the cricket field. Or those that continued to believe that that hint of brilliance would eventually translate into something much, much more.
Those that believed in Rohit, had invested, ironically, in the long run, in the shorter format. It's been over 10 years since Rohit made his ODI debut. It's been a tough ride, often embarrassing for those who refused to stop believing in him. But Rohit was, is, and will in all likelihood, continue to be the chosen one of Indian cricket.
Not always for the fans, for that there's Virat Kohli. But the chosen one of a few important men - captains, coaches, selectors. Each time Rohit scores, it's a pat on the back of these men. Captains have changed, so have coaches, and selectors too, but the thinking has often been the same - Rohit is precious, we need to be patient with him. Who knows, when a coach thought otherwise, or said too much, maybe it even cost him his job? If it hadn't, it definitely could.
Today, after his third ODI double century, Rohit is well on his way to become a limited overs' great. That may be good enough for Rohit, but the men that matter have far greater plans. Along with talent and timing, Rohit is blessed with an assurance that few cricketers have - the team needs him more than he needs the team. Even when he is not in the playing XI for Tests, he is in the squad.
His place is not too dissimilar to that of Ajinkya Rahane, who is a sure-shot starter in the Test XI but not so in the ODI team. Both are Kohli's deputies. There's little that Kohli won't do to play both in both formats - a triple centurion made way for Rahane, remains to be seen who will make way for Rohit in the Test series in South Africa.
When Rohit's value was way down, Indian cricket invested in him. Why? Because he was considered blue chip. As is often the case with blue chip, they decided to stay invested in him, through the drops - possibly even more vehemently through the drops. When all the signs were to drop the Rohit stock, Indian cricket decided to invest even heavier in him. Smart ploy. Rohit stock was cheap back then. So they ploughed so heavily into him, everybody laughed. You laughed, didn't you? I laughed, didn't I?
Then one day, out of nowhere, Rohit stock shot up - not through the roof, but just enough for all the naysayers to say, "Ok, about time, but we doubt it'll be steady, it'll just drop again". And when it did drop again, Indian cricket decided to invest some more in him. Why? Because that's what you do with blue chip stock.
Then November, 2013 came along, and Rohit stock went through the roof. The first ODI double century happened on November 2, 2013. Less than a week later, Rohit stock made its debut on the Test stock exchange - a century on debut, man of the match, another century in his second Test, and Tendulkar's retirement followed.
In a room to toast Mr 200 Tests, Tendulkar was asked who he expected would beat his record of 100 100s - he said the two players were in the room, they were Virat and Rohit.
In the four years since, Kohli has become India's captain across formats; Rohit has since scored two more double centuries. And taken charge in his captain's absence.
So, how do you calculate your return on investment in Rohit? You stay invested. And when his value drops, you do what the smart investors do - you invest some more in him. On a day like this, when he smashes a double (208 off 153 balls), you just sit back and watch your Rohit stock soar. As for the naysayers, they'll come around, but then, eating your words is one costly affair.