VALEN­TINE’S DAY GIFT

Ro­hit Sharma ded­i­cates Man of the Match award to wife Ri­tika

Mail Today - - INTERACTIVE - By Ajay Naidu in Port El­iz­a­beth

THERE ARE quite a few mis­con­cep­tions about Ro­hit Sharma. One is that he ap­pears to be a se­ri­ous per­son and sec­ond that, for a gifted player like him, he doesn’t out mind over mat­ter. Both are wrong. For, he’s quite a friendly and fun-lov­ing guy. And even when he speaks to the me­dia, he gets overly gen­er­ous with those out to grill him. Thus, ev­ery­one who watched him work his way to his 17th one-day hun­dred at St Ge­orge’s Park will know that, de­spite end­ing a run­drought on this tour, he didn’t cel­e­brate his cen­tury nor was there a sense of deja vu. This de­spite his cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli lead­ing the cheers from the In­dian dress­ing room where ev­ery­one was on their feet!

Just in case one wanted to hear from the man him­self about not cel­e­brat­ing his land­mark, he said, “Cel­e­bra­tion?. . .yaar two guys got run out be­fore me, so I couldn’t cel­e­brate.” The hon­est ad­mis­sion evoked laugh­ter all around.

Ex­plain­ing his through process in the mid­dle, he said, “I just wanted to keep bat­ting as long as pos­si­ble and get the team to a de­cent tar­get. We re­alised at one point, af­ter 20-25 overs, that it’s not a 300 track be­cause it was get­ting slower and slower and shot-mak­ing wasn’t easy. I knew when I was bat­ting at 100 that I have to carry on but un­for­tu­nately got out at the wrong time. At the end I still felt 270-odd was a par score, def­i­nitely not a win­ning score but a par score.”

To a pointed ques­tion about his poor form in the se­ries, Ro­hit had an en­tirely dif­fer­ent take that also prob­a­bly gives us an in­sight on the think­ing in­side the dress­ing room.

“I got out in three (ac­tu­ally four) matches only mere bhai! How can you say form is bad af­ter three matches? You guys put peo­ple in good form af­ter one match, and if some­body doesn’t have three good games, you say he is in bad form,” he said break­ing into a laugh.

On a more se­ri­ous note, he ex­plained, “In our dress­ing room, we are al­ways talk­ing how we are bat­ting and how we are play­ing the ball. Scores some­times don’t re­flect that at times. That doesn’t mean that sud­denly you have be­come a bad player.”

Giv­ing a clue to his own mind­set, he opined, “I ad­mit the first four matches weren’t great but that hap­pens. It hap­pens with every­body. But I was in a good frame of mind, I was bat­ting well in the nets, there was no pat­tern to my dis­missals. That hap­pens in ev­ery crick­eter’s ca­reer. I knew I had to stay in a good frame of mind. And we won the se­ries af­ter to­day’s knock, so there is noth­ing bet­ter than that for me.”

Man of the match Ro­hit Sharma also ded­i­cated the award to Ri­tika, wish­ing her a happy Valen­tine’s day. He posted a pic­ture of him­self with the tro­phy on In­sta­gram and wrote, “Happy Valen­tine’s Day Rits @ritssajdeh”.

The opener struck a match-win­ning 115 in the fifth one-dayer I ad­mit the first four matches weren’t great but that hap­pens. It hap­pens with every­body. But I was in a good frame of mind. You guys (me­dia) put peo­ple in good form af­ter one match, and if some­body doesn’t have three good matches, you say he is in bad form. My hun­dred has gone now & in the next game I play, the cen­tury I scored isn’t go­ing to mat­ter much. So it is im­por­tant to stay in the present. RO­HIT SHARMA, INDIA BATS­MAN

Ro­hit Sharma raises bat af­ter hit­ting a ton on Tues­day.

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