New Delhi, June 2: India's limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma has evolved as the most destructive top-order batsman in the world after Mahendra Singh Dhoni asked him to open the innings during the ICC Champions Trophy 2013.
Rohit, who was struggling to cement his position in the Indian middle-order, didn't look back after he got the opportunity to open the innings for India. Along with his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit emerged as a formidable pair in that particular tournament and it only grew stronger. Since then both Rohit and Shikhar's performances at the top has been a prime reason for Team India's success in the limited-overs format.
Rohit's career took a 360-degree turn after Dhoni's asked the Mumbaikar to open innings after first-choice opener Murali Vijay got injured just ahead of the tournament, which India ended up winning. Rohit, while talking in the chat show Breakfast With Champions, revealed he was sceptical initially but took it as a challenge.
"Champions Trophy is a big and long tournament. Suddenly MS told me you will open. I said okay, let's see how it turns out. I instantly agreed but when I went back to my room I was like did I made the right choice? I didn't know anything, the opposition and who we were playing because I had a feeling I will not be in the playing XI. As a player, you get an idea about whether he's playing or not," Rohit, who was joined by Shikhar in the interview, revealed.
"So I was preparing myself from the prospect of not playing and what will I do the whole day - I will train in the gym and do other things so I had no idea about the opposition and I didn't care about it. I think we were playing South Africa the next day so I was nervous but we ended up stitching a 100-run stand together and we scored 330 something and we won the match," the second-ranked batsman in ODI rankings added.
Rohit and Shikhar have been doing the bulk of scoring for the Men In Blue in the recent times. Going into the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, a lot depends on the performances of these two at the top if India wish to live up to the reputation of tournament favourites.