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Better things about to follow, says Rohit Sharma

Mixing caution with aggression and match awareness were his game aspects

By Our Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 7.10.19, 1:27 AM
  • Updated 7.10.19, 1:27 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Mohammed Shami holds a stump broken by him as he celebrates with teammates after the win over South Africa in the first Test in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. (PTI)

Rohit Sharma not just scores runs to keep detractors quiet, but also does what’s necessary to shut himself off completely from all the talk happening outside, especially when he is preparing.

Speaking at the post-match media conference after India’s 203-run win in the first Test versus South Africa, in Visakhapatnam on Sunday, Player of the Match Rohit said: “I have protected myself with a shield around me for a long time now. So, all those things that happen outside do not come inside that shield. Therefore, what people talk and think of me doesn’t really bother me because eventually I have to play my game and I have to enjoy my game because it was my dream to play cricket. And I am living that dream.What happens outside is something I never thought about.”

Making his comeback in the India Test team, Rohit hit back-to-back centuries in his first Test as opener, which made him the obvious choice for the Player-of-the-Match award.

Explaining his mental framework, Rohit iterated that he was informed about opening in Tests as many as two years ago and that he was also preparing at nets accordingly.

“That communication between the team management and myself happened a long time ago that I might have to do it at some stage. So, for the past two or three years, I was prepared for it mentally.

“Whenever I was not playing a Test match, at nets I was batting against the new ball trying to be ready if the opportunity comes. It’s a great start and I have long way to go.

“It’s not the end, it’s the start. Better things are about to follow,” Rohit said.

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja The Telegraph Picture

Mixing caution with aggression was his mantra for success, while Rohit added that match awareness is also another aspect of his game.

“Everything depends on the situation you’re batting in. It’s my game to mix caution with aggression as that’s been my mantra.”

His second-innings century came off 149 balls, which included 10 fours and seven sixes. “In the second innings, I had to try and play some shots. It may have come off, but may not have come off also.

“Bowlers are pretty smart these days, but I backed myself and I guess fortune favours the brave,” Rohit said.

Rohit broke a slew of records during his innings. He became the first batsman to hit twin tons in his maiden Test as an opener apart from the 13 sixes.

“There are a lot of things that happened in this Test, which I am not aware of in terms of records… Focus was to have fun and put the team in a good position.

“I just wanted to go out there and do what I do best. Our focus was on winning the Test match and I think we pretty much did everything right,” he said.

Captain Virat Kohli too was effusive in his praise for his team after the comprehensive victory despite the loss of one session on Day I.

“Rohit was outstanding, Mayank (Agarwal) brilliant... It was a hard grind because of the conditions, especially the weather conditions. And the pitch slowed down too. But it’s all about the attitude,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.