Rohit Sharma has said he is in a better mental space thanks to his wife and kid. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
When Rohit Sharma started out in his international career, he was hailed as a prodigious talent but greatness eluded him. For the first part of his career, Rohit often threw away starts and had some lengthy periods of low scores. However, once he was promoted to open the batting, his career turned around brillianty and he achieved greatness. Rohit became the first player to hit three double centuries in ODIs and four centuries in Twenty20 Internationals. In Tests, Rohit had endured a struggle but in the recent series against South Africa and Bangladesh, Rohit broke his rut in Tests by registering big scores. Having received brickbats and praise in equal measures during his 12-year international career, Rohit said he was enjoying the mental space he currently is in and says his wife and kid are responsbile for making him a better player and that criticism does not affect him anymore
"I am a different Rohit in terms of how I think. I am in such a great space in my life because of the family that I have -- my wife (Ritika) and daughter (Samaira). I am not worried about what others are talking. They (wife and daughter) fill me with love and happiness and I try to stay within that rather than thinking about X, Y or Z making comments about me. I have actually passed that age to react to someone talking good or bad things about me. Frankly speaking, it doesnt matter anymore," Rohit said in an exclusive interaction with PTI.
The amount of criticism that Rohit received in his initial days made him a better player. Currently, there is immense pressure on Rishabh Pant, the Indian wicketkeeper who has been under the scanner for his shoddy wicketkeeping and inconsistent batting. Rohit has urged people to give Pant a break.
"In fact, I was telling Pant the same thing. Poor guy is only 21 (22) and people are telling him to score hundreds in every game, do this and do that. I mean cut some slack man. I told Rishabh 'Create a wall and ensure that nobody comes inside. It's your safe-house. People want to talk about you, let them do it outside that wall and you do what you intend to do inside your zone'. Who knows it might help Rishabh. It worked for me at least," Rohit said.
A double century on his "debut" as Test opener against South Africa gave India the kind of momentum they were desperately looking for after Virender Sehwag's exit from the scene. But ask Rohit about it and he says, "Honestly speaking, I stopped thinking about Test matches long time back. Earlier, I was thinking too much about success in Tests. I would go overboard as to why is this happening, why am I playing that shot. After each Test innings, I would go to our video analyst, sit, watch and then confuse (clutter) my brain further. That wasn't actually the right thing that I was doing," Rohit said.