Indian opener Rohit Sharma on Saturday opened up on his challenge of opening the innings in Test cricket after he was promoted up by the team management.
After a long wait, Rohit achieved his first overseas Test hundred since he made his debut in 2013. The opener stood tall and scored 127 from 256 balls, his innings included 14 fours and a six.
I knew this was my last chance as well trying another position in the batting order: Rohit Sharma
Rohit struggled in his early Test days when he batted in the middle-order, he averaged 39.62 batting between no.3-no.6, but has been a revelation as an opener. In just 27 innings he has amassed 1462 runs at an average of 58.48, laced by five centuries.
Rohit talked about the time when he was offered to open the innings and the Mumbai batsman knew that it was his last opportunity to prove his mettle.
“In the back of my mind, I knew this was my last chance as well trying another position in the batting order. When the offer came to me, I was very much aware of it as there were talks within the management about opening the innings at some stage. Mentally, I was ready to take up the challenge and see how I can do well up the order,” Rohit said in a virtual press conference after the end of the third day’s play.
“I know I batted in the middle order and things didn’t go as per the way I wanted it to and I knew this was my last opportunity to try out and you know management is thinking whatever I want to try,” he added.
You can say it would have been my last opportunity if I wouldn’t have succeeded: Rohit Sharma
Rohit started opening in Test cricket against South Africa in the 2019 Test series at home. In his first stint of promotion, the Mumbai Indians captain slammed 529 runs from four innings at an average of 132.25.
Although the team management kept supporting their star batsman, somehow Rohit himself felt the pressure of not performing up to his caliber and had made his mind to make the best out of the opportunity handed to him.
“When you are playing the sport, you always have to take those chances and you always have to take those risks and so you could say I was ready for it and didn’t come to me as a surprise. You can say it would have been my last opportunity if I wouldn’t have succeeded. Anything could have happened,” Rohit said.
“That (about it being his last opportunity) was my feeling. I don’t know about others because the team management told me that I will have a long run. But I wanted to think in a way that this is it. I have to make good use of the opportunity and for that, I have to do whatever it takes,” he added.
Rohit is currently India’s highest run-scorer in the Test series against England with 368 runs, just behind England captain Joe Root (528) in the batting charts from both sides.