Cuttack: New Indian ODI team openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have grabbed the opportunity with both hands since replacing the experienced Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
Not only have the two flourished as an opening combination, Sharma has amassed 203 runs from four ODIs so far at an average of 101.50.
Speaking to MAIL TODAY, Sharma said that opening with Dhawan has definitely helped his game and the two have complemented each other to the hilt. He says the new ODI rules have also helped them dominate.
He added that he didn’t do anything special to prepare for this series, which stands 2-1 in Australia’s favour and weather conditions in Cuttack, venue of the fifth match scheduled for Saturday, are bleak as it has been raining profusely.
“We’re having a good run as the opening pair. We’ve played together and are good friends, so it helps us have a good understanding ODI rules, we look to dominate once we have settled down. The idea is to build small partnerships. As far as my preparation was concerned, it was the same as I prepared for any other series,” Sharma said.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said that the on-going series is very important as India haven’t done well against Australia at home in ODIs. Sharma is confident that India would triumph this time around.
"Whether in India or away, as you always want to do well as a team. It’s true that we haven’t done too well against the Aussies in India, but it will be different this time around. We are a different team now. We have set high standards for ourselves, so we will try and live up to that,” he said.
Sharma feels that the move to make him open the innings has definitely helped. “I don’t know if that’s what helped, but players should be mentally prepared to bat wherever the team needs them to as it gives your team more options. But, yes, a fixed batting position also helps,” he said.
Sharma feels the team has a good combination of youth and experience. “This young side is well bonded and we all understand each other. We’re more competitive which motivates us. Youth is great for the energy levels of a side and it takes the fielding up a notch, but experience is equally important,” he signed off.
(The interview was taken before the start of the series)
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.