Dhoni made me opener, it changed my career: Rohit

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 12, 2017 11:41 hrs

Star India batsman Rohit Sharma hailed MS Dhoni as one of the best captains and said that Dhoni's move to promote him as opener changed his career.

Just before the Champions Trophy in England, Dhoni asked Rohit to open and the move worked wonders.

In his first match as opener, Rohit scored a fluent 83 against England and set the tone for India's successful chase of 258.

"I believe the decision to open in ODIs changed my career and it was a decision taken by MS Dhoni. I became a better batsman after that. In fact it helped me understand my game better, react better according to situations," Rohit told PTI.

"He (Dhoni) just came up to me and said 'I want you to open the innings as I am confident that you will do well. Since you can play both cut and pull shot well, you have the qualities to succeed as an opener'," Rohit said. "He told me that I shouldn't be scared of failures or get upset by criticism. He was looking at the bigger picture as the Champions Trophy was scheduled in England that year.

"With no disrespect to other great Indian captains, I was blessed to play under MS all these years. His calmness in pressure situations helped us. He always led from the front. There won't be one like him."

Donning the new hat as opener, Rohit scored scored 177 runs including two fifties in the Champions Trophy that India won.

It was only after the move that Rohit scored a brilliant 209 against Australia in Bangalore. As an opener, Rohit then went on to slam a world record 264 against Sri Lanka.

"The Champions Trophy in England made me confident that I can open and ready to face challenges of playing the white ball in English conditions in the morning," Rohit said. "I got 65 against South Africa, who had Morne Morkel, Ryan McLaren, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Rory Kleinveldt. Morne and McLaren were hitting a three-quarter length and Tsotsobe was swinging it. The skipper was confident that I could handle the situation and I did."

Currently recovering from a thigh surgery, the opener said that he will take another six to eight weeks to regain full fitness.

"You can't do anything about it and I have been in situations like this before," Rohit said. "What disappointed me was the fact that the injury happened just when I was in rhythm scoring three successive fifties against New Zealand in Test matches.

"I have started running and from next week I will start with my batting drills. First the basic drills, followed by batting against bowling machine followed by proper net session."

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