Ajinkya Rahane has backed Rohit Sharma to come good in the Test matches against South Africa. (Image credit: Twitter)
Rohit Sharma is one of the top batsman in the world when it comes to ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals. Rohit has close to 9000 runs in ODIs and in T20Is, he and Virat Kohli are the two leading run-getters in the format. However, his Test numbers are underwhelming, averaging just 39.62 with three centuries. Rohit, though, has been picked in the India cricket team for the three-Test series against South Africa and many are expecting that he will open the batting. Ajinkya Rahane, who himself underwent a period of struggle for a couple of years before coming to form in the West Indies series, has backed Rohit to do well.
"He has worked so hard and if he gets an opportunity, I am sure, he will do well. We all know the quality he has -- special talent. Test cricket is all about mindset and ODI cricket, you can just go out there and back yourself. In Test cricket, sometimes if two bowlers are bowling good spells, you need to respect that and come out strong and play your game after that," Rahane said in a promotional event in Mumbai.
Rahane said it was tough to see a 'special talent' like Rohit sit out but he was unsure of which position he will bat in the upcoming series. "You want an answer actually? I don't know yet whether Rohit will open the innings. If he does, I will be happy for him. I said in West Indies also, it is hard to see a special talent like Rohit sitting out," Rahane said.
The Mumbai right-hander has played 58 Tests and 90 ODIs but his last one-dayer was 18 months ago. In 2017, he had a good series against Australia but then his form dipped and in Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri's rotation policy, Rahane found himself out of the team. However, Rahane expressed his desire to be part of the one-day squad in the near future.
"Apart from Tests, I really enjoy playing ODI cricket as well. I want to comeback to ODIs. Right now, the focus is completely on this series. After the Australia series, there was a long break. When I got to know that I was not part of the World Cup squad, my plan was to play county cricket and luckily the Hampshire people called me and asked about the county cricket," Rahane said.
Rahane's stint with Hampshire for close to two months was vital and he admitted that he had fallen in love with cricket all over again. "Apart from cricket, small things helped me a lot. I used to walk alone after the practice session and think what was my thinking when I started playing cricket. The answer was that I enjoyed cricket rather than focusing on the outcome. When you think about focus and outcome, you put yourself under pressure. In county cricket, those two months, I learnt a lot. I played seven matches and the focus was actually on red ball because I knew we would play Dukes ball in the West Indies. Trusting your ability was the key," Rahane said.