Johannesburg: Rohit Sharma, the Indian middle-order batsman, has said that he is looking forward to translate his success achieved in Twenty20s into the longer formats of the game. Despite critics gunning for his head after a lean run in ODI cricket, Rohit was confident of doing well given the backing he has received from his India team-mates and support staff.
The 25-year-old, currently in South Africa participating in the Champions League Twenty20 for defending champions Mumbai Indians, had a torrid time with the bat in ODIs this year, scoring just 164 runs in 13 matches. India’s ODI tour of Sri Lanka in the build-up to the recent ICC World Twenty20 proved a particularly disappointing one for Rohit, as he could only manage 13 runs in five innings. "I've opened the batting, batted at numbers 3, 4, 7... I have batted wherever I have been asked to," Rohit told the Times of India. "I am not giving any excuses here and since I'm supposed to be a professional, I'm anyway not allowed such excuses. The tours of Australia and Sri Lanka were disappointing and I also agree I struggled there. As frustrating as it has been for everybody, it's much more frustrating for me."
But despite his failures in 50-over cricket, the Mumbai batsman was keen to take the positives from the World Twenty20. In two practice matches before the tournament Rohit made 37 and 56 in against Sri Lanka and Pakistan respectively and then hit an unbeaten 55 against England in Super Eights before failing against Australia and South Africa.
"I enjoy my stints in Twenty20. I sincerely hope I can adapt this to one-day cricket too, and do what I manage to do in Twenty20. I have succeeded in this format regardless of conditions, batting order and any other factors. I hope it rubs off on other formats too," he said.
Rohit admitted that unnecessary criticism disappointed him, but that he was trying to focus on the job in hand. "Of course it hurts. If I was an opener, it would've given me time to go out there and figure things out. I don't want to say I'm a top-order batsman or I'd specifically like to be one. I will bat wherever I am asked to. Yuvraj has been a classic example. He used to bat at No. 6, No. 7 when he first came into the Indian team. Gradually, he started batting up the order and runs started coming. Someday I too will learn to deal with it and work my way."
The right-hander said the support he has got from his team-mates kept him motivated in trying times. "I have got tremendous support from my team-mates and captain," Rohit said. "I must have done something right in the past for which I am getting this kind of support. Nobody will back you just like that. And believe me, I'm putting in a lot of effort to repay that faith."