BY ONKAR SINGH
The year 2017 has been best for Indian ODI squad Captain Rohit Sharma. After hitting another double century, Sharma called this year as his best in international cricket on Wednesday. “This year has been the best for me as a cricketer. I am someone who doesn’t look too far ahead I am only thinking about this particular series”he said at the post match press conference.
Rohit Sharma needed nine more runs to get his double hundred when the last over of the Indian innings began at the IS Bindra stadium here on Wednesday.
It was of course settable, but he could have missed it too. However, there was perhaps not a single soul in the far-from-packed stadium who thought Sharma wouldn’t get there. There was an overwhelming sense of inevitability to India’s stand-in skipper getting his third double hundred in ODIs. And how right everyone was!
“I have been hitting the ball quite well. I had to be ready when the opportunity came. I have no regrets about what has happened in the past,” said Rohit. The future is bright. I wanted to be ready for the opportunity in test matches.
“Because of the combination of bowlers I sometimes may not get to play. I have to be prepared always, and be at my best. I looked to bat 50 overs and score as many possible. It may not happen all the time but whenever I see the opportunity I try to make the most of it,” said Rohit at the post match press conference on Wednesday.
He, however, did not want to rate his three double centuries. “The other two were as important as this one. The first one against Australia made it 2-2. For the one against Sri Lanka, I had returned from an injury. So for that reason it is right up there. Here we wanted to come back as a batting group. So it was important. Also, it was my first stint as captain. As a batsman I wanted to do well and take my team into good position.”
“I don’t think I can rate any of three double hundreds. All three we were very important from the team’s perspective.”
On his style, Rohit said, “The first 100 took a little longer, The second hundred did not take that long because I was set. You understood what the bowlers were trying to do by then. It was all about playing according to the field. Once you get past 100, it is all about not making a mistake.
It was all about me not making mistake and batting as long as possible. After I scored 100, I just wanted to bat to my strength.
“There is no formula to it. The pitch was nice and hard and you could hit on the up. All the double hundreds I got were similar in pattern. I started off very slow and then picked up the pace, at the end I accelerated.”
Rohit added, “I like to analyse situations and conditions which were initially not easy. I wanted to play out the overs. I am not someone like AB de Villiers, Gayle or Dhoni. I don’t have that much power. I have to use my brain to manipulate the field, and stick to my strength which is to hit through the lines.”
On his six hitting looking easy to the eye, Rohit said, “Nothing is easy in cricket. May be when you watch it on TV it looks easy. But it is not. You have to use your brain and time the ball. Trying to scoop the ball and hit over point is my strength. You can’t clear the rope always that easily. You can exploit the five fielders inside and play around with the field. Shot selection becomes very important.”
Hitting a century in front of his wife was special. “You must have seen on the screen that she was more happy than me. She got a little emotional as well. It was the first double hundred she witnessed. It is not that I score double hundreds every day. It is good to have her here. But more than that, winning the game is important.”