Over several decades, many interesting stories have emerged from the jersey numbers of cricketers. While some have astrological reasons for choosing a particular number, few simply don their date of birth on their back. Some players have also dedicated their jersey numbers to their parents and spouses. 

One of the best limited-overs batters in India and the world, Rohit Sharma dons the number 45 on his jersey. It goes without saying that the number 45 has nothing to do with the batter’s date of birth. Neither does it have any astrological backing. 

Ahead of India's Super 12 clash against Scotland in the T20 World Cup 2021, the ICC posted a video on where Rohit reveals the reason behind donning the number 45. Interestingly, the number was suggested by his mother.

"Why I am 45? It's just my mother likes the number. Lot of numbers were taken so I asked my mother, what number I should take? So, she said 45 will be a good number for you,” Rohit said in the video.

As per additional reports, it was before the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in 2006 when the cricketer asked his mother to suggest a number. He wanted number 19, which was unavailable. 

Rohit Sharma was born on 30 April, 1987 to parents Gurunath Sharma, a former employee at a transport firm and Purnima Sharma. He has a younger brother, Vishal. 

Rohit Sharma’s international career in a nutshell 

Rohit Sharma made his international debut just a year after making his first class debut in 2007. He made his ODI debut against Ireland in Belfast in June 2007. However, he did not get to bat in that game. Only three months later, Rohit made his T20I debut against England in the inaugural T20 World Cup. Coincidentally, he did not get to bat on his T20I debut too. 

The initial phase of Rohit’s career saw him in and out of the playing XI quite often. But in 2013, Rohit, who batted in the middle order until then, was asked to open the innings by the then captain MS Dhoni, a decision which gave India one of its finest limited-overs batters. He made the opener’s slot his own, and his career took an unprecedented turn after that.

Rohit holds the world record for the highest individual score by a batter in men’s ODIs, having scored 264 against Sri Lanka in Kolkata in 2014. He is also the only player to have scored three double-centuries in the 50-over format. During the 2019 ODI World Cup, he became the only batter to score five centuries in a single edition of the tournament. 

In 2013, Rohit made his Test debut against West Indies in Kolkata. But much like his limited-overs career, he didn’t become a regular in the Test team until the management made him open the innings instead of batting in the middle order. Rohit opened in Test cricket for the first time in 2019 and went on to become a consistent performer against the red ball. 

In all, he has 9205 runs in ODIs at an average and strike rate of 48.96 and 88.90. This includes 29 centuries and 43 fifties. In T20Is, he averages 33.30 along with a strike rate of 140.28. The right hander has scored four centuries and 26 fifties in this format. In Tests, the 34-year-old averages 46.87, which includes eight centuries and 14 fifties. 

Rohit was appointed as India’s permanent captain in T20Is and ODIs in December 2021. 

The story behind a few other jersey numbers 

Sachin Tendulkar: 10

Although Sachin started his career with jersey number 99, he changed it to number 10 later. Reportedly, the former India captain changed the number on the advice of an astrologer. 

MS Dhoni: 7

MS Dhoni wore number 7 on his back because of his date of birth. The three-time ICC trophy winning skipper was born on July 7, 1981 in Ranchi. 

Virat Kohli: 18

Virat Kohli's late father played an important role in his son’s formative years in cricket, taking him to coaching and looking after his expenses. He passed away on December 18, 2006, when Virat was 18 years old. The Indian Test captain thus chose 18 as his jersey number. 

Rahul Dravid: 19

Rahul Dravid’s reason to wear 19 on his jersey is a romantic one. ‘The Wall’ used number 5 for the initial phase of his career, but switched to 19 after marriage because it is his wife’s date of birth. 

Hardik Pandya: 228

Hardik Pandya uses an unconventional triple-digit number on his jersey. He wears 228 because that is his highest score in the Under-16 Vijay Merchant trophy for Baroda. 

Kuldeep Yadav: 23

Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav has always been vocal about being a big fan of Shane Warne. The former Australian spin wizard used 23 on his jersey, which is why Kuldeep chose to use it too.

Washington Sundar: 555

Another Indian cricketer to use an unconventional number of his jersey is Washington Sundar. Interestingly, the all-rounder was born on October 5 at 5:05 am, which led to his jersey number.