India news July 15, 2013

Rohit enjoying his 'best phase in international cricket'

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rohit Sharma, the India batsman, has said he is relishing opening the batting for India in one-day cricket. The consistent run he had all through the Champions Trophy and the tri-series in West Indies, he said, was his most satisfying phase in international cricket so far.

"I am enjoying my new role as an opener. That I have been successful and my contribution has helped the team's cause makes it even more satisfying," Rohit told PTI in an interview. "From the point of view of consistency, this has certainly been my best phase as an international cricketer."

Rohit, who usually bats in the middle order, was bumped up to open in the last two ODIs of the home series against England in January after the out-of-form Virender Sehwag was dropped and Ajinkya Rahane failed to grab his chance. He began with 83 off 93 balls in Mohali and has opened in all India's ODIs since, averaging 43.72 in 12 games. In the West Indies, he produced scores of 60, 5, 46, 48* and 58 in difficult batting conditions. And the move seems to be working for India too, as they have won nine of those 12 games and all three tournaments.

The ODI opener's role has changed with the introduction of the rule by which two new balls are used, Rohit said, but he has the technique to succeed. "The role with two new balls coming into play is different. It's no longer going after the bowling from the word go. There are a few shots that should be avoided during the initial overs.

"But I was always confident about my technique. The opener's job is specialised one, but I always knew that I could hold my own if I am given an opportunity at the top of the order. The innings of 83 against England wasn't the best but proved to be a morale booster for me."

India's next one-day series is against Zimbabwe, beginning July 24.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Reading over these comments gives an impression that lot of indian fans are not over yet sehwag and gambhir dropping out of indian Team..and they keep comparing rohit with them rohit said The new odi rules of two new balls needs a opener who can dig in deep and press a case for hard hitting middle order to build up on the base and we do have a more profilic opener in dhawan i rather have india 35 or 40/0 in 10 overs then 60/3 .....

  • fan on July 19, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    Federer,M.Schumacker,Ronaldo(Brazil),Zidane,Valentino Rossi and Sachin..Guess you guys understand what i mean!!!!!!!!!

  • uma on July 19, 2013, 14:49 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster, what ever conditions u said would cause problems for rohit; which he alrady faced in west indies and stood up tall. it shows he is beest fit for tests as openeer. shika and rohit could make excellent openers for tests.

  • uma on July 19, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    best performer for india in tri series is rohit and bhuvi next. rohit took lot of courage to stand up in difficult conditions of west indies. that too initial overs is very tought to face.

  • Rashmi on July 19, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    @ alarky : Either you lack entire knowledge or are being biased...It is easy to be biased in favor of Dhoni as he is delivering miracles but you must be right when you compare him to SRT... Dhoni's weakness against new ball is known to all opposition... Even to Dhoni himself... Check how many times he has fared against the new ball in Tests... Even if India is about to declare, Dhoni won't go against the new ball and will wait for 10-15 overs before he starts firing.... He has seldom fared well when he comes to bat when a ball has been changed... Even in ODIs, he will come to bat at 7 or 8 when there is a top order collapse... I won't blame Dhoni for this as he can make it up with the old ball...But comparing him to SRT and saying that Dhoni can bat at any position is totally absurd...Please make some research before you claim anything... Or else Dhoni will lose SRT's fans b'coz of useless Dhoni's fans like you.

  • beverly on July 18, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    pratait, don't underestimate the great man Mohinda Singh Dhoni. He can bat at any position, on any wicket in the world, with success. You make your kind of comment for SRT who showed that he can only bat at No.4 in test matches and No.1 in ODIs!

  • Venkat on July 18, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    Rohit has great batting gifts commonly acknowledgly by experts and fans. His production this year has been very good. This will give him an opportunity to open the ODIs for the rest of the year. He is an easy choice for any of the overseas trips. It is hard to see who can compete with him on pacy and bouncy tracks. On swinging wickets as well, with two new balls, these past two series he showed how best to play the opener's role. Keeping wickets in hand and at the run rate appropriate for the wicket the match was being played on was very important. He did that consistently. Folks complaining about his run rate in the last series perhaps have not seen the matches completely. He showed he can play a very different role to what he had in the past in the ODIs. That flexibility points to a batting genius. His fielding is excellent as well with a natural gift for it and excellent athleticism.

  • fan on July 18, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    We are very good in ODI but we need to prove ourselves in Test matches especially in SA,AUS,NZ & ENG where ball dictates the bat...And if I see the last 3 year away game stats, our batsmen looks very ordinary except few..Upcoming SA series is going to be very tough for our young batsmen and having gambhir in Test Squad is a good option cos we all know what happened to M.Vijay,Kohli,Dhoni and Pujara during last SA tour..Steyn kicked them all!!!

  • fan on July 18, 2013, 1:27 GMT

    It's a joke to call Rohit as failure for not scoring centuries!!! He is consistent at the top and that's what India needs..And for bashers, guys give break..When Virat lost match aganinst SL, most criticized him.when Dhoni is playing for CSK, everyone bashing him..when Dhoni makes some decision and if it get failed,again bashing.. You guys want to bash all the time and you people want every player to score 100 and pick 5 wicks all the time..pathetic!!! Even the great Bradman scored 0 in his last innings when he needs 1 run to make his test average above 100!!

  • Al on July 17, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    Agree with @pratit - In South Africa, England or Australia there is no need for 2 spinners. The allrounder in the side, if any, has to be a pace-bowling one. Neither Dhoni, nor Jadeja, nor Raina is good enough to bat at no.6 in South Africa against that bowling line up. It makes sense to give Rohit a chance, especially when he is in good touch. Selectors should get rid of over the hill 40 year old superstars who were great in their prime, but now are a burden on this team.