Rohit given new role as ODI opener

  • Ashutosh Sharma, Hindustan Times, Mohali
  • Updated: Jan 24, 2013 00:52 IST

M S Dhoni as skipper is known to take risks and one such big move paid off on Wednesday when Rohit Sharma, who has been in and out of the team for quite some time due to indifferent form, was promoted to open the innings with Gautam Gambhir.

The move paid rich dividends as Rohit took on the challenge and scored 83 runs to build a solid platform for the team’s victory. After the match, Dhoni clarified it was something that had been discussed with the batsman to allow him to mentally prepare himself.

And it might have kick-started Rohit's new role as one-day opener. “We had a discussion with him some time before. We gave him time to think about it. We all felt he is someone who can be a really good opener, in the sense he cuts and pulls really well.

Also with openers, you want one of them to be slightly aggressive. He accepted the challenge, in the sense he got into the side because Manoj (Tiwary) was unfit. So, it was an opportunity for him. I am glad he scored runs because he is one of the most god-gifted talent around,” Dhoni said.

Rohit has struggled for runs at the international level and was dropped after the first ODI against Pakistan. However, he had scored heavily for Mumbai in the Ranji season.

Packed lineup
Rohit was seen as someone who was not cashing in on his talent. But with no opening in the middle order, this was the best opportunity for him.

“It’s very important that he capitalises on that. Of course an innings like this will give him a lot of confidence and also time at the top level. Personally, I am very happy for him,” the skipper said. Dhoni was not sure whether Rohit would have got a long run if he had failed, though with Virender Sehwag out of the side and Gambhir not firing, it is a move that can reward the player and the team.

“That’s a difficult one,” he said, when asked if he had contemplated Rohit failing in Mohali. “It’s very important to think and go in one direction, not only as coach and captain but also with the selectors.

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