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Rohit Sharma: Critics are like girlfriends, they never stop thinking about you

Rohit Sharma will not have the psychological scars of having been through the 0-4 defeat when India toured England in 2011 © Getty Images
Rohit Sharma will not have the psychological scars of having been through the 0-4 defeat when India toured England in 2011 © Getty Images

By Kushan Sarkar

New Delhi: Jun 5, 2014

With some fine performances in all three formats of the game, Indian batsman Rohit Sharma says he has answered most of his critics quite emphatically in the past one year but cannot really do much about those who keep thinking about him like obsessive lovers.

“Even after a good last season, there were people who were still criticising me. So I have realised that I have to just score runs because some criticism will always be there. I will do what’s there in my control as I have no control on what others feel about me. Critics actually are like girlfriends, they never stop thinking about you,” Rohit told PTI in jest during an interview.

With more than 1000 runs in ODIs during the last season apart from winning Player-of-the-series award in his debut Test series, Rohit has finally shown the consistency that his ardent fans expected from him. “It has been a good year and I would like to continue the good work in the coming season. I am confident that I will be able to win matches for India,” the 27-year-old talented Mumbaikar said.

Asked about the much-anticipated England series starting in the last week of this month, Rohit said that mentally, he has started preparing but is not losing sleep over it. “I have been watching the ongoing England vs Sri Lanka series to get an idea about their team. I wouldn’t like to over-prepare. I believe that once you are in the groove, you can create your own strategy reacting to the situations. It worked for me in New Zealand, where I batted well. Obviously, the basics will remain the same,” said the right-hander, who had an impressive start to his Test career with 455 runs from six games.

Asked about any technical changes he has introduced in his batting, the stylish batsman said, “England is a place where you have to be good both on front and backfoot. If James Anderson is swinging the ball, you need to come forward and be on top of the ball. The head position and the balance needs to be perfect. Similarly, if a bowler drops short, one needs to get onto the backfoot. These are basic things that everyone needs to do correctly.”

Rohit and Cheteshwar Pujara was not a part of the Test squad that was whitewashed 0-4 in 2011 and thus doesn’t have any scars of that series. “I believe we should treat this as another series instead of taking too much pressure. It’s true that we [him, Pujara] wouldn’t carry any baggage but yes it would be a challenging series. I never like comparing one series with another. Just like South Africa was a different challenge, England will be another tough challenge,” said Rohit, one of India’s batting mainstays.

As discussions veered towards Mumbai Indians‘ campaign in the recently-concluded IPL, Rohit seemed quite content with the performance after an indifferent start to the season losing five matches on a trot in the UAE. “As a skipper, I am extremely proud of my team. It took a lot of self belief to make a comeback after a poor UAE leg. If I am asked, I would say it was a satisfying journey during this year’s IPL. May be we fell short in the Eliminator but the effort was never lacking,” the MI skipper said.

Having successfully opened for India in the shorter formats, he was asked if he harmed his chances of getting good scores by dropping down the order. Rohit replied, “You can’t lead a team for selfish reasons. Yes, I got lesser number of balls to play, but such was the combination that the team needed me at that crucial No 4 position. Also once Lendl Simmons came in the playing XI, we did reasonably well at the top and I didn’t want to tinker with the combinations for my own selfish reasons. You don’t play cricket like that,” he said.

An avid football fan, Rohit is ready to stay wide awake in the coming days as World Cup football starts. “Even if I have practice next morning, I am not missing out on World Cup. Not for anything in this world. I would be rooting for Spain once again,” said Rohit.

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