Rohit Sharma: Happy to play crucial role in India's win

Rohit Sharma scored 83 runs off 93 balls at Mohali © Getty Images

Mohali: Jan 24, 2013

India opener for the fourth One-Day International match against England, Rohit Sharma is glad that he played a crucial role in the hosts’ win over the visitors on Wednesday. Rohit scored a patient knock of 83 runs, setting the platform for India’s win. The talented Mumbai batsman is happy that the new year started off in a good way for him.

“I am very happy firstly to win the series. Winning the series is more important than anything else. I am very happy that I played a crucial role in the team’s winning effort. That’s how we play. Everybody chipped in while bowling and with the batting, which is good,” he was quoted as saying by bcci.tv

Asked about his strategy when he came to open the innings with Gautam Gambhir, Rohit said, “The idea was to just stay at the wicket because initially the ball was doing a bit. They have got very good bowlers in their ranks and so the idea was just to stay on the wicket and see off the new ball. We know the Mohali wicket is obviously very good to bat on and the outfield here is very fast, so we just wanted to stay in for 10 overs and see how it goes. We lost two crucial wickets in the middle, so the idea was to build partnerships at the time. And everybody who came in, chipped in with a few good partnerships, which is important in ODI cricket. You need to get those 40-50 run partnerships going. And Suresh Raina also played very crucial knock.”

Rohit feels when England came to bat, the wicket was little slower.

“When they were batting, the ball was coming on nicely; the wicket was a little slower. But when we started, initially it was doing a bit and later on with the dew coming in little bit, the ball was coming on nicely. So we kept reminding ourselves that we just need to stay on and not give easy wickets. If you have wickets in hand, you can chase any target.”

The 25-year old suggested that it was a very difficult situation for him as he had to open the innings which he is not used to.

“It was in very difficult conditions and a very difficult situation for me. I am talking (for me) personally, because this was the first game that I was playing this series and opening the innings, which I am not used to. So I am very happy that the team management wanted me to do something different and I lived up to their expectations.”

Asked how different it is to open the innings, Rohit replied, “It is different, because when you go in initially to face the new ball, you have to be little sound in your technique; you have to see off that new ball. So, I was practicing accordingly. I had it at the back of my mind that I might open the innings, as the management had told me earlier also that I might open the innings in some of these coming matches. So I prepared and I was ready mentally. So it was just about going out there and executing, which I did.”
The Mumbai batsman credited his stint in the Ranji Trophy for helping him prepare for international matches.

“Whenever you get runs, it always matters and always helps. I was in good form in Ranji Trophy. Unfortunately, I didn’t play many games for India this new year. So yes, I am happy the way the first game has gone for me. So luckily and hopefully 2013 will be a good year for me.”

Finally, Rohit wished the Mumbai Ranji team, who will be playing the final against Saurashtra starting on January 26 at the Wankhede stadium.

“I will be following them keenly. They have worked really hard over the season. I was involved in few of the matches during the season. I will give my best wishes to them and hopefully they can come out as winners. It will be a huge thing for us if we win the Ranji Trophy this season. We have put in a lot of hard work; so I hope it pays off,” he concluded.