Rohit Sharma © AFP
Rohit Sharma © AFP

Although Rohit Sharma had a six-month long layoff (October 2016 to April 2017), he always found a way to entertain his fans by being on the news. He slammed 2 centuries in the recently concluded Sri Lanka ODI series and even during his off-time, he entertained fans with his interesting social media posts. Those wristy shots and strokeplays make Rohit’s batting look sublime. However, Rohit says international comebacks are easier said than done. Since his comeback, Rohit led Mumbai Indians (MI) to third IPL title. As for the international tournaments, he has scored three hundreds in 10 games apart from a few half centuries since Champions Trophy.

Rohit is now looking forward to the Australia series where his focus lies on conditions and not the heavyweight opponents, Australia.

Australia series

Now that Shikhar Dhawan is unavailable, he is expected to play a more important role in the upcoming ODI series against Australia but the Indian vice-captain believes in preparing for “conditions rather than opposition”.

“To each his own but my process of preparation is based on conditions not opposition. It won’t be any different when we face Australia,” Rohit said.

“In international cricket, the core group in most of the teams would remain same. So you know what’s expected but they will operate in different conditions which is why the homework about conditions is the key. You need to know the shots you can play on particular pitches, how you want to plan your innings,” Rohit elaborated.

Asked if Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood’s absence would affect Australia’s chances in the upcoming limited-overs series, the stylish batsman replied: “Of course, Starc is a quality bowler and his presence makes a difference but most of the Aussie boys have played IPL and are familiar with Indian conditions. They are a quality side and we can’t take them lightly.”

Rohit’s struggling days after rehab

After undergoing a surgery, Rohit failed to fire on his comeback, with scores of 16 and 4 respectively against Andhra and Goa in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2016-17.

Rohit explained his struggling days, “Comebacks are not at all easy. After a major surgery, the difficult part is to conquer the inner demons. It’s all in the mind. Only an individual can overcome his fears. My batting may look easy to the eye but trust me, it’s not that easy,” Rohit told PTI.

Rohit also had to take precautions with his injury but at the same time he focused on not bothering much about it. “The best part that happened to me was IPL started just after I completed my rehab. So while captaining Mumbai Indians and taking those on- field decisions, I couldn’t think about what happens if I get injured,” he added.

Champions Trophy and Sri Lanka series

Although he earned accolades as a captain, he failed miserably with the bat during the IPL days. He managed to pile up 333 runs at 23.78. Rohit spoke in length about his negative phase, “When I was playing for India, my mind became blank while batting. There was no place for any negativity.”

Rohit’s struggle with leg-spinners during the IPL days was evident. Although Rohit fell to Dananjaya in the second ODI, he unlocked the ‘Dananjaya’ mystery from the third ODI and scored heavily.

Decoding the ‘Mystery Spinner’, Rohit added, “I was out only one over after he was brought into the attack. But in the next two games, I got hundreds and I had no problems playing him. I realised that the speed of his googly was on the slower side while leg-breaks were faster. His off-break was easily negotiable. One thing we must know about these ‘Mystery Spinners’ — they are bound to bowl loose deliveries and Dananjaya is no different.”