MS Dhoni: Rohit Sharma reminisces the incident when Dhoni decided to make him open the innings during the 2013 Champions Trophy opening match
The opening batting pair of the Indian Cricket Team- Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have emerged as one of the most dreaded batting pairs in World Cricket. In fact, it was the veteran wicket-keeper batsman and then Indian captain- MS Dhoni and his ever famous decision that Rohit Sharma has emerged as one of the finest opening batsman in modern-day limited overs Cricket.
For people to jog down their memories, Rohit was, out of the blue asked by the then captain MS Dhoni to open the innings alongside Shikhar Dhawan, in the opening match of the all-important ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 in England. And the rest is history!
The 32-year-old reminisced the few memorable moments of the night before the aforementioned match against South Africa, where he had no clue whatsoever whether he will even get to play the match, leave alone the decision to make him open the innings.
What did Rohit say about MS Dhoni?
In a popular chat show ‘Breakfast with Champions’ hosted by Gaurav Kapur, Rohit Sharma featured alongside his opening partner in the Indian team- Shikhar Dhawan.
Gaurav Kapur asked the duo if they remember the first time they opened (the innings) together. Dhawan was the first to respond as he jogged down the memory lane, that both of them had directly opened together in the first match of the main tournament. That they had not even opened in the practice match prior the tournament.
Rohit admitted that he was very nervous after Dhoni slipped in the decision, and he was quick to give an affirmation nod as a knee-jerk reaction. But, in hindsight was quite anxious as he had never opened for India (barring a couple of matches) in a tournament of Champions Trophy’s stature.
“Champions Trophy itna bada tournament hai aur suddenly MS ne mujhe bola ki tu open kar yaar, first match. Maine kaha theek hai chalo dekhte hai. Usne bol to diya, aur maine haan nhi bol diya, phir room me jakar soch raha hun ki maine kya kiya ye, thik kiya ya nahi kiya”.
(Champions Trophy is such a big tournament and suddenly MS (Dhoni) told me to open the innings in the first match. I was like ok, let’s see. He had eventually said it, and even I gave him a thumbs up, but later after getting back to my room, I was contemplating as to’ what did I do just now’, and whether it’s right or wrong for me.”), Rohit responded to the question.
“Had no idea about the opposition”- Rohit
Rohit later added that he had no clue as to who the opposition team was, in the Champions Trophy opening match. He exclaimed that, as a player one gets a feel whether he will play the upcoming match or not, and he was contemplating about what will be his routine on the match day.
“Mereko opposition voposition kuch pata nahi tha kiske saath khel rhe hai ya nahi. Kyunki ek idea aa jata hai player ko ki player match khel rha hai ya nahi khel rha hai. Vo psychologically aapko pata chal jaata hai. To mai prepare kar raha tha ki mai nahi khel raha hun to mai kya karunga poore din, training karunga ya vo karunga. To opposition kaun tha mujhe koi farq nahi pad raha tha”, Rohit added.
(I had no clue against who we were playing or not. Because as a player you get the psychological feel whether you’ll play or not. So I was preparing that since I’m not playing what would I do the entire day- training or something else. So I did not manage to care who the opposition was to be on the match day)
Team India is currently in England, and have reached Southampton where they will clash against South Africa in their opening match on June 5.
How was the episode?