Rohit Sharma’s exploits as an opener have seen him emerge as an indispensable asset for India in limited-overs formats. But the Mumbai batsman was not accustomed to batting at the top at the start of his career. This change came only at the 2013 Champions Trophy.
Before that tournament begun, Rohit was a regular middle-order batsman and his inconsistency had seen him in and out of the team on multiple occasions. But it all changed when captain MS Dhoni asked him to open the innings during their first group game against South Africa.
“Champions Trophy is a big and long tournament. Suddenly MS [Dhoni] told me you will open. I said okay, let’s see how it turns out,” he was quoted as saying on the show Breakfast with Champions.
“I instantly agreed but when I went back to my room I was like did I made the right choice? I didn’t know anything, the opposition and who we were playing because I had a feeling I will not be in the playing eleven. As a player, you get an idea about whether you are playing or not.
“So I was preparing myself from the prospect of not playing and what will I do the whole day - I will train in the gym and do other things so I had no idea about the opposition and I didn’t care about it,” he added.
Opening alongside Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit starred at the top as India secured a 26-run victory against the Proteas with the duo sharing a partnership of 127 runs.
“We were playing South Africa the next day so I was nervous but we ended up stitching a 100-run stand together and we scored 330 something and we won the match,” Rohit added.
India eventually went on to lift the trophy after beating hosts England in the final by five runs. They went unbeaten in all five of their games. While Dhawan ended up as the top run-getter in the tournament by scoring 363 runs, Rohit finished fourth on the scorer’s list with 177 runs.
Watch him talk about the moment here