Colombo : There was a lot of criticism from all quarters when Rohit Sharma was moved down the batting order from one drop to No 5 but the talented right-hander is of the opinion that ‘no one owns any particular batting slot’ in this team. Rohit ended the Test series as the second highest run-getter (202 runs) behind skipper Virat Kohli with his second half-century in the series.
Asked about his preferred batting slot, Rohit said, “If you ask anyone, they are not going to say this is my number. Nowhere it’s written in the world that No 4 belongs to this person, No 3 belongs to that person. As a batsman, you want to bat as up the order as possible to get more opportunities, face more balls and score big runs.” “But the management felt I should bat at No 5 and they came and spoke to me and I was okay with whatever they wanted. I cannot have my own preference, it’s a team game and you do what the team wants from you,” Rohit said at the post-match media conference.
The Mumbaikar admitted that all the tracks in this Test series has been of different nature. “Well, this series was totally different when we started playing in Galle. The wicket there was completely different. Then again at the P Sara, the wicket was different and again at the SSC. When you bat at different positions, you have to have a different mindset. I feel I should have done a bit more with my bat but I will definitely take what I have done,” he said.
With Cheteshwar Pujara scoring a career-changing century, the pressure is back on Rohit but he is not unduly perturbed. “The pressure I feel will be on the management and the captain to decide the playing eleven, not on me. I have to play my game when I get an opportunity. That’s how I look at it.” Someone known to gove straightforward replies, Rohit made it clear that he won’t stop pulling the short balls from the pacers.
If you look at the game carefully, on the first morning, I played that shot I think off Nuwan Pradeep. I played a very similar shot which got me four runs. That’s how it works. That’s my shot, and I play that all the time. I am not going to shy away playing my shots.
“I will back myself and whenever I bat, I always have intent to score runs, not to just be there and survive. Sometimes, that ball could have gone a little behind him, it could have fetched me six runs but it went straight into his hands. It’s unfortunate,” added Rohit.
Rohit has more often than not being panned by critics for not realising his true potential but he feels that there is little reason to react to it. “What happens outside is irrelevant to me because it is not going to help my cricket. Only hard work, doing what I have been doing in the nets and getting better as a player everyday will help me, and I will stick to it,” he was curt in his response. He did not forget to mention that everyone goes through a rough patch.
No one goes through a very clean patch. There will be some sort of up and down in the career of a sportsman. I am no different and I can say things have been up and down, but as long as I am enjoying my cricket nothing can stop me.
He reckoned that batting would not be easy on the final day on a pitch that has acted tricky all throughout. “Batting on the fifth day and having a target of 380-plus is never easy for any opposition. We will just have to come out tomorrow and do what we did in P Sara. In the same situation they were 3-down and we had a very similar target there as well. So one more job and we are through,” he added. “When we went into bat, the idea was be cautious in the first 20-30 minutes. So the first 20-25 minutes, we didn’t get many runs and once we got enough time in the middle we started playing our shots. Every small little partnership on this wicket is crucial. There is something for the bowlers throughout the day,” he said.
Source : Free Press Journal