India’s limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma said the mental change after becoming an opener is the reason behind his ability to score big hundreds.

Speaking to India cricketers Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana in a video chat show titled Double Trouble, Rohit spoke about how he focussed on batting out the first 10 overs in ODI cricket.

“Mindset is very simple, because I lost some years of my career batting in the middle order without scoring too much,” Rohit told Mandhana, who asked for advice on how to convert her 70s and 80s into big scores.

“So when I saw that I get such good opportunities at the top of the order to play 50 overs, and I play out the first 10 overs, then only my mistake can get me out. In the first 10 overs, there is help for bowlers. That’s why when you see my strike rate, in the first 10 overs its not great.”

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Mandhana and Rodrigues asked Rohit about his routine in lockdown and the Indian opener said he was focussing on returning to full fitness. He was injured during the tour of New Zealand and had to return mid-way.

“My rehab was going on at NCA before the lockdown as I was injured. The last part of my recovery process was remaining, so I am following that at home now,” he said.

Rohit also said he will support his daughter in whatever career she chooses.

“I am reading books on the internet about what other daddies have done in the past. I dont know if she is going to play a sport or anything, I would want her to choose her dream. As parents we will support her,” he said.

Rohit revealed that Mohammed Shami was the trickiest bowler he had to face in the nets.

“The pitches we have for net sessions are almost always green with moisture. And whenever Shami sees a green pitch, he eats extra biryani! Bumrah is also difficult but he has been around only for two-three years. Shami, I have been playing since 2013. But yeah, right now there must be a competition going on between Bumrah and Shami, on who beats the bat most, who can hit the most on the helmets,” Rohit said.

When Mandhana asked Rohit about the ability to hit yorkers for sixes, he revealed how he worked hard on it, with Mumbai Indians’ teammate Lasith Malinga.

“It’s a favourite shot of mine [hitting a wide yorker], I used to practice that a lot, when I used to bat in the middle order. I had to finish off games. I’m talking about T20 cricket [for MI]. I used to request Malinga, to bowl just five yorkers: on my legs or on the stumps or outside off. He used to say, ‘okay macha, no problem’. And when he bowled outside off, I used to try and take the ball on the full. So that the ball hits just above the bottom of the bat and get sliced,” Rohit told the rising stars of the Indian team, who are talking to athletes during the lockdown on their YouTube talk show.

You can watch the video here: