A “nervous” Rohit Sharma, who is back in action after a gap of four months, didn’t last long with the bat scoring 16 off 33 balls. While fielding, the ball kept following him at long-on and third-man for a considerable amount of time on a hot afternoon during Mumbai’s match against Andhra at the SSN ground in the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Saturday.
At the end of it all, the man “felt good” to be back on the field after recovering from a thigh injury. “I felt good. I wanted to spend a lot of time batting, which didn’t happen…but that’s fine. Coming back after four months, I was pretty nervous to get back on to the field and play. I have done that before (coming back from injuries). I was just trying to think positive,” Rohit said.
Mumbai, who had lost their last two encounters, managed a convincing 43-run win against Andhra. Captain Aditya Tare top-scored with 77. With the selection committee set to meet on March 8 to pick the squad for the last two Tests against Australia, it’s important for Rohit to prove his fitness in these two games to be in contention.
Sweating it out for 38.1 overs on the field, testing the injured muscle pleased Rohit. “I want to spend as much time in the middle to see if the muscle which was injured can take the load. That’s something which was told to me by the physios at the NCA. The biggest challenge was to spend as much time in the middle as possible. There is another game which I have to play (March 6). I look forward to spending more time in the middle and also fielding. That will be my real test,” added the 29-year-old.
A regular opener in ODIs, is Rohit ready to don the same role in Test cricket? “That’s a very big question. I don’t want to talk about it because it’s not right if I talk about where I want to bat in any format. Whatever the team wants, I have to adapt to it,” said Rohit, who has batted at No 3 in a few Test innings, said.
But he added: “In Tests, if they’re going to ask me, I will think about it. It’s not that I’m going to say no to it. You have to think before every decision you make. Like, when the ODI opening position came to me, the team wanted me to bat there. There was a slot available and they wanted me there because they thought my game will suit opening the innings.”
Rohit said he has been trying to pick the brains of Sachin Tendulkar during his interactions with the legend on how to prepare before a match. “What I try and understand from him or take into my books is, how he prepares before a game, how was so obsessed, and was so consistent over the years,” he added.
When asked if the recent batting debacle against the Aussie spinners has exposed a weakness in the Indian batting unit, Rohit said: “I don’t agree with that. The last two series, we played England and New Zealand, we played on turners and all our batters did well. On an average we were posting 450+. But, yes, the last game we struggled.”