Happy to help team win: Rohit Sharma
With a well-compiled 83-run knock, Rohit Sharma set the platform for an Indian win. Asked to open the innings with Gautam Gambhir, the batsman, who has mostly batted in the middle order, took the opportunity with both hands and played a crucial role in today’s successful run chase.
While speaking to bcci.tv later, the talented young batsman who has been keen to perform for the national team after being inducted into the squad on the back of some good performances in the domestic circuit said that he was happy to contribute to a winning cause. Glad to have lived up to the expectations of the team management, the batter is happy to start off on the right note in the new year and hopes for a good year ahead.
Excerpts from his interview:
Playing your first game of this series, you played a crucial role in sealing the series.
I am very happy firstly to win the series. Winning the series is more important than anything else. I am very happy that I played a crucial role in the team’s winning effort. That’s how we play. Everybody chipped in while bowling and with the batting, which is good.
What was the strategy when you came in to bat and how did you pace your innings with couple of wickets falling at the other end?
The idea was to just stay at the wicket because initially the ball was doing a bit. They have got very good bowlers in their ranks and so the idea was just to stay on the wicket and see off the new ball. We know the Mohali wicket is obviously very good to bat on and the outfield here is very fast, so we just wanted to stay in for 10 overs and see how it goes. We lost two crucial wickets in the middle, so the idea was to build partnerships at the time. And everybody who came in, chipped in with a few good partnerships, which is important in ODI cricket. You need to get those 40-50 run partnerships going. And Suresh Raina also played very crucial knock.
What were the conditions like when England was batting and then when you came out to chase?
When they were batting, the ball was coming on nicely; the wicket was a little slower. But when we started, initially it was doing a bit and later on with the dew coming in little bit, the ball was coming on nicely. So we kept reminding ourselves that we just need to stay on and not give easy wickets. If you have wickets in hand, you can chase any target.
How would you rate this knock?
It was in very difficult conditions and a very difficult situation for me. I am talking [for me] personally, because this was the first game that I was playing this series and opening the innings, which I am not used to. So I am very happy that the team management wanted me to do something different and I lived up to their expectations.
Are any different preparations required for opening the innings as opposed to batting in the middle order?
It is different, because when you go in initially to face the new ball, you have to be little sound in your technique; you have to see off that new ball. So, I was practicing accordingly. I had it at the back of my mind that I might open the innings, as the management had told me earlier also that I might open the innings in some of these coming matches. So I prepared and I was ready mentally. So it was just about going out there and executing, which I did.
Did you draw a lot of confidence from your performances in the Ranji Trophy this season?
Yes obviously, whenever you get runs, it always matters and always helps. I was in good form in Ranji Trophy. Unfortunately, I didn’t play many games for India this new year. So yes, I am happy the way the first game has gone for me. So luckily and hopefully 2013 will be a good year for me.
Any message for the Mumbai team who have made it to the Ranji Trophy final?
I will be following them keenly. They have worked really hard over the season. I was involved in few of the matches during the season. I will give my best wishes to them and hopefully they can come out as winners. It will be a huge thing for us if we win the Ranji Trophy this season. We have put in a lot of hard work; so I hope it pays off.