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Regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Rohit Sharma credits self-belief for success as opener

Rohit, however, doesn’t feel that the responsibility of vice-captaincy has brought about this change

Our Correspondent London Published 08.06.19, 09:48 PM
Rohit Sharma speaks during a press conference ahead of their Cricket World Cup match against Australia at The Oval in London, on June 8, 2019.

Rohit Sharma speaks during a press conference ahead of their Cricket World Cup match against Australia at The Oval in London, on June 8, 2019. (AP)

Rohit Sharma has 23 centuries in 207 ODIs and his vast experience is showing. He is more composed and can bat according to the demands of the situation. It is not the hundreds, but pulling off chases consistently that gives him more satisfaction.

His abilities were on display during India’s tricky chase against South Africa in Southampton in the opening match of the World Cup. Not without reason captain Virat Kohli had rated his unbeaten 122 as his best “ODI innings”.

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Rohit, however, doesn’t feel that the responsibility of vice-captaincy has brought about this change.

“I think I have played more than 200-odd games now. If I don’t do it now, then when?” the Indian vice-captain quipped.

“Experience teaches you a lot of things. That is something that has come into my game of late. Because you start the innings for your team, you want to make sure that you finish off the innings, as well. That gives you immense pleasure.

“And when I did that in the first game, the satisfaction you get finishing the job is something else, rather than scoring a hundred and not finishing off the game,” said Rohit on the eve of the match against Australia.

Rohit is third in the list of ODI hundred-getters after Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, but he always rates winning matches as more important than going after milestones.

“Personally, I don’t look into all of that. The journey will continue, and those milestones (will come). I just want to make sure that as many games as I play, I make my team win in as many games as possible. That’s the sole and whole job of me as a batsman. Yeah, along the way, you get rewards. I will take it any day.”

Rohit started opening consistently from the 2013 Champions Trophy — having opened against England in an ODI in Ranchi earlier that year — and has come a long way.

“I have come a long way since then and it’s through the hard work and understanding that I can deliver as a batsman and that is what I have focused on.”

Playing as per the conditions is something that the 2013 Champions Trophy taught him.

“How you can play and how you can’t play, in India, in Australia, in England, South Africa, New Zealand, whichever place you go to, that is something that I’ve understood... How you need to bat in certain given conditions and realising the fact that how important it is for one of your top orders to bat all the way through,” he said.

“So those are the things I’ve calculated and I’ve brought into my game, which has probably given me success.”

He thinks self-belief has helped him achieve success.

“Self-belief is something that I guess has played a crucial part in this five to six years, because if I wouldn’t have believed that I can open and do well, I probably wouldn’t have been doing it so successfully.”

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