India v England, 4th ODI, Mohali January 23, 2013

Rohit needed this innings - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff

MS Dhoni has said Rohit Sharma's half-century in the fourth ODI against England was a timely innings and one that would give the batsman confidence after a succession of low scores at international level.

Rohit opened in India's chase of 258 and contributed significantly to India's series-clinching victory in Mohali. He made 83 off 93 deliveries in the five-wicket win.

"I am glad he scored runs because he is one of the most god-gifted talents that is around," Dhoni said after the game. "Of course an innings like this was very much needed for him. It will give him a lot of confidence and also time at the top level. Personally I am very happy for him."

Rohit had not played in the previous three ODIs against England, with India choosing to give Ajinkya Rahane a run in the side. But after several unconvincing performances, Rahane was left out and Rohit was asked to open for only the fourth time in his ODI career.

"We all felt he is someone who can be a really good opener, in the sense he cuts and pulls really well," Dhoni said. "Also, with two openers, you want one of them to be slightly more aggressive than the other. I think he accepted the challenge, he also felt he got into the side because Manoj [Tiwary] was unfit. So it was an opportunity for him. The good thing was he took it as a challenge."

Rohit anchored the first half of India's chase, forming half-century stands with Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, before his dismissal in the 32nd over. When asked what might have happened had Rohit not performed today, Dhoni said it was a difficult question to answer. "It's very important to think and go in one direction, not only as coach and captain but also with the selectors because at the end of the day, mutually we decide who is the best available talent and you have to give those guys a bit of a rope.

"I don't know what would have happened if Rohit had not scored runs or in any other scenario. The best that we could have done was give him another chance in Dharamsala and then see, because we are not playing too many ODIs after that. We all felt he is very talented, he got an opportunity in the last series in Sri Lanka where he got a few good deliveries."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmon on January 26, 2013, 6:17 GMT


    Ref: "...He gives chance only to his frds..."

    Really? Dinda, Bhuvnesh, Shami are in the team cos they are MSD's friends? Did MS play Pujara in the tests only cos he was his friend? Didn't MS play Chawla in WC league matches even when everyone wanted him to play Ashwin? Is Chawla in the team now? From Chalwa then to Ashwin now - you now say that he plays the likes of Ashwin cos they are his friends. Just how much more ridiculous can you get?

    Pujara did play in tests and has to wait till a vacancy arises in the middle order of the team. But ppl like you list out 22 players that should play in the final 11 and start bashing Dhoni each time he tries 1 new player by saying he should have tried someone else or that he should have tried some more players instead of saying that yeah he did try this new player.

    Ppl like you show no logic in except that you want to join the wagon that does Dhoni-bashing instead of being reasonable. Why do we have ppl like you among Ind fans?

  • Srinivas on January 26, 2013, 1:31 GMT

    It's all in the genes, Dhoni. There's nothing like god gifted talent. Why would god have such a special interest on one man among 6 billion humans? Rohit needs to do justice to his talent and try to be Rohit and not Nohit.

  • Al on January 25, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    It's a good thing that Rohit performed. But what about the other opener slot? Why can't we try Dhawan or Mukund there? Indian Selectors are living in the past - they need to think about the future. Sehwag and Gambhir are finished. Yuvraj looks jaded. Why not try Pujara, Tiwary, or Rayudu in his place? We need to find more pace bowlers because they are so injury prone. Why not give chances to top Ranji bowlers like Ishwar Pandey, Siddarth Kaul, Imtiyaz Ahmed?

  • Raj on January 25, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    @Prats6 . You are 100% right. I am seeing this from Dhoni from past 4 years. He gives chance only to his frds. Like Raina, Rohit, Jadeja, Ashwin. No new player can break into their frdship. Puraja has to wait until Dhoni quit, the same case with DK. DK is very good middle order and was fighting for middle order place along with Kohli, Raina, RG. But DK is been permanently out of sight. But other three given chances more and Kohli become very good now. But other 2, given more and more chances... but why not DK or why not Puraja now. We are forced to live with these.

  • victoria on January 25, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    alarky, I'm 100% in agreement with you. I don't know if Rohit is paying the price for being so highly rated by "a CHAPPELL"!

  • beverly on January 25, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    rohitsinghverma, Sachin has so many more hurdles to jump over before he catches Bradman. "Rohit Sharma must be the most UNLUCKY batsman to have played for India". When seen in Australia in 2008, at the tender age of 20, everyone thought he was the best Indian batsman on tour barring Laxman. Ian Chappell rated him very highly. He impressed so much that there were calls for his permanent fixation in the India team - people were seeing for the first time since Gavascar and M. Armanath, an Indian batsman who was playing medium fast bowling just as good as any other world class batsman on fast bouncy pitches. India cricket ignored the calls and kept playing "Has Beens" - some out of form for nearly 4 CONSECUTIVE years! The events of 2008 to 2010 is now history which has benefitted a single individual; but now to the detriment of India cricket. That period in Sharma's career caused him to lose his confidence. But I still think if favoured like Tendulkar he could be India's best batsman ever.

  • Al on January 25, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    It's time to get rid of Tendulkar from tests. Let Rohit play in place of the non-performing Tendulkar in tests as well. It's also time to say goodbye to Sehwag and Gambhir. We have better openers in Dhawan, Mukund, Chand, Jaffer.

  • uncle bob on January 25, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    I fully agree with Harmony 111. Dhoni is a gem who takes blame for others,

  • VENKATESA on January 25, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    Its really amazing to see that just after 3 failures rahane has been ditched and even after so many failures and obvious weaknesses in his technique against pace gambhir has been continued as an opener.. Y not try out pujara instead..?! Are the non-performing seniors undroppable in Indian setup..?! Also its really important to keep the India-A team very busy as well once the domestic season gets over.. Players like Jeewanjot singh,Dinesh Karthick ( as an opener ) ,Abhishek Nayar,S.Tiwary,R.Palliwal,S.Nadeem,V.Joshi,J.Saxena,I.Pandey,P.Awana,S.Kaul,P.Patel,Rohit Sharma,Rahane,M.Tiwary to name a few..,under M.Kaif's captaincy should be made to play in countries like S.Africa,England,Australia,Newzealand.. Give them equal chances n good performances in 3 or 4 day matches over there should be acknowledged and given chances in our test team.. Its time now to invest in youth and build a test team which can perform n shine during the tour of S.Africa..Act fast BCCI.. Come on India..!

  • Harmon on January 24, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    Time will tell what sort of career Rohit Sharma will have. That is still some years away. But as of now, the amount of backing Dhoni gives to his players even after all the world has given up on them is AMAZING. He gave support to even Ishant and I frankly had stopped thinking about him and had said that 2013 might be his last year in Intl cricket. But at least Ishant has shown some improvement now and is even bowling slower balls, wow. A lot of credit goes to Dhoni for this and although Rohit and Ishant still have to learn to be consistent if they do have long careers they will owe a lot of it to Dhoni.

    Kirsten had said that he could go to war if Dhoni was by his side. He was absolutely correct. I would love to have someone like Dhoni as my manager if nothing else then for the sheer backing he gives to you when even you may be doubting yourself.

    That's what a great leader is about. That's what a great friend is about. MSD - you are a gem of a leader, not just a captain.