Rohit sharma was ruled out of the ongoing series against West Indies after suffering a injured finger © IANS (File Photo)
Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the ongoing series against West Indies after suffering an injured finger © IANS (File Photo)

Injured Indian batsman Rohit Sharma tells Taus Rizvi that competition for top order slot will be good for the Indian team. Excerpts:

DNA: How is your finger that you injured in England?

Rohit Sharma: Finger is fine. I am feeling well. It’s almost 70-80 per cent healed. It is in the last stage of healing. I am going to start gripping my bat from tomorrow (Friday).

DNA: How are you keeping yourself fit since you were injured?

RS: When you are injured, it’s important that you have to keep your body maintained. A lot of stuff has been given to me to follow. I am doing lower body exercises since I cannot lift anything for upper body.

DNA: How badly are you missing international cricket?

RS: Very badly. It’s a very hard time as I go home and watch Indian team play. It’s not easy for any cricketer to sit out and watch instead of being there on the field. Sometimes, you cannot control things. I am trying to keep myself busy and happy with the work I am doing on my body. Also, am doing a lot of other things like charity work.

DNA: Ajinkya Rahane is being seen as the new opener in the ODIs. How do you see the competition?

RS: Competition is always good for cricket and for the team. I have certain goals. Competition will always be good for the game. Guys will try harder and produce good results. Personally, I am not even thinking (about competition) as I have a lot of other things to do like get fit first and work my way back onto the field.

DNA: Where do you feel comfortable most – opening the innings or batting in the middle order?

RS: For the past year and a half, opening the innings has quite suited me. It’s been since last year’s Champions Trophy that I started opening. I am enjoying the role of an opener. I don’t want to talk about what I have done in the last 18 months or so. But, if you look at the records, I have done well. Obviously, it has been a wonderful journey opening the innings. I would say I am enjoying the role as it is challenging. As an opener, you have to be a little more cautious with the two new balls moving around. The ball does quite a bit. While opening, you have to be extra focused. Being cautious has helped my batting. It’s not that when you bat in the middle order, there is no challenge or you have to be a little less cautious, but opening has helped get the best out of me.

DNA: How much have you enjoyed opening?

RS: I have really enjoyed the results we got as a team. We have won quite a few games since Champions Trophy. We lost in South Africa, a short series in which we had no time to make a comeback. Losing the series in New Zealand was disappointing. As a team, we did well completely. In England, we came back well in the ODIs. Unfortunately I was injured in the middle of the series. Opening has been a challenge which I have enjoyed and performed when I was given the challenge.

DNA: You have a tough series coming up in Australia. How are you planning for it?

RS: As of now, I don’t know how I will be planning. My priority is to get back to the field. Planning will come through in the later stages. We have been to Australia before, so I know what to expect from them. Personally, I am watching them play and have played against those guys a lot. The tour is going to be a challenging one.

DNA: This will be an important season with World Cup early next year?

RS: Obviously, the series against West Indies now and the one in Australia before the World Cup will be important. We are glad and happy that we are getting to play in Australia before the World Cup and that will help us prepare before the big tournament. We just need to play as a team. These two tournaments will play a crucial role, I hope we are in good form.

DNA: Despite getting a great start to your Test career, you have not cemented your place in the longer format. What went wrong in South Africa and New Zealand?

RS: Personally, nothing went wrong. It was just that I was not able to deliver. I want to keep it as simple as that. I didn’t perform. I was as focused and wanted to score runs like any other. I was trying hard and had prepared well before going into the Tests. It just didn’t work. I have no regrets because sometimes it does not go the way you want it to. You don’t get the big scores that you are looking for. But I want to keep concentrating. My work ethics are good and I want to work on various aspects of the game.

DNA: What will you do to get back into the Test side?

RS: I will wait for the opportunity. I want to grab the opportunity by scoring runs. I am aiming to return for the Tests against the West Indies (starting on October 30). I have to be fit before that and make it count.

Complete coverage of India vs West Indies 2014

(Taus Rizvi is a Principal Correspondent with DNA. A club-level cricketer, he believes cricket helps in knowing a person’s character. Taus can be followed on @rizvitaus on Twitter. The above news has been republished with permission from DNA, where it first appeared)