After failing to make an impact with the bat in South Africa Tests series, India batsman Rohit Sharma has been dropped from the national squad for the one-off Test against Afghanistan in Bengaluru, starting on June 14.
Rohit, who has done reasonably well across all the three formats in India’s last home season, was preferred over Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI against South Africa in the first two Tests that the tourists lost to concede an unassailable 2-0 lead.
The elegant Mumbai batsman though couldn’t quite prove his worth against the fiery Proteas pace attack as he managed to aggregate only 78 runs in 4 innings at a miserable average of 19.50.
Speaking to PTI on Monday (May 28), Rohit said he doesn’t worry about his Test selection nowadays and just wants to enjoy the remainder of his playing career.
“There’s limited time you have as a player and I have finished almost half of it. There’s no point in spending the remaining half thinking whether I’ll be picked or not. I am going forward with the theory of ‘whatever time I have make it count’,” Rohit quoted.
“For me, I am not at a stage to worry about whether I’ll be picked or not. I need to enjoy my game. The first five-six years of my career, it was all about “oh, will I be picked? Will I play”! Now it’s all about enjoying the game. These things keeps adding pressure on you. Instead, it’s best to enjoy yourself in what you do and give your best,” he added.
Rohit boasts an impressive record in limited overs cricket, but the 31-year-old hasn’t managed to replicate the same in the longer format of the game. In 25 Tests he has played for India, Sharma has scored only 1479 runs at an average of 39.97 with 3 hundreds and 9 fifties.
“I got into the national team when I was 20 and I made my Test debut when I was 26. I had an opportunity to make my debut in 2010 but I missed that (due to an injury). After that, it made me realise that the more you want, your attitude changes. I have realised there’s time for everything,” Rohit remarked.
“There has to be time and a slot available for it. The seniors - Sachin, Rahul, VVS and Sourav - were all playing then so we had to wait. After a point, I realised there’s no point thinking about it (selection). No point in thinking about what the selectors are doing and all,” he elaborated.
When asked if he was surprised by the omission from the Test squad against Afghanistan, Sharma asserted: “I was not. As I said, I can only keep enjoying my game. There’s no time to regret about anything. I’ve had enough time to regret in the past. We have got big events coming up, so best to focus on it.”
Rohit also didn’t live up to the expectations while leading the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2018 and flamboyant right-hander admitted that his shot selection wasn’t up to the mark.
“Personally for me, it was not a great season. I expected a lot from the standards I have set for myself and the kind of performance I have had lately. I gave myself full chance to go out there and do what I could. I started off well with a few innings and then towards the end when it was needed the most, it didn’t happen, so that was disappointing,” he said.
“Shot selection,” he added when asked his area of concern with his batting in the just-concluded IPL.
“But again, shot selection is something that will be talked about when the results are not going your way. But those shots when I play in the first over of the match and it goes out of the stadium, it gets you that momentum the team is looking for.
“You have to back yourself to do that. I backed myself but it didn’t come off. When it comes off, you win games; when it doesn’t, you lose. I have been in that situation too often,” Rohit concluded.