The key to excellence is the mindset, says Rohit

The Indian opener says the 2013 series and the 2017 series against Australia cannot be compared as a lot of dynamics have changed in both the teams.

Rohit Sharma at a private function in Chennai on Thursday.   -  M. Vedhan

Rohit Sharma’s decade long career has seen its ups and downs. While he is not an automatic choice in the Test side, Rohit’s career in the shorter versions of the game has been very good. From the time he walked out to open for India in 2013, the right-hander seems to have eased into the role quite well.

Rohit, who was named Virat Kohli’s deputy for the ODIs and the T20 game against Sri Lanka, dominated the Lankan bowlers, scoring two consecutive hundreds and one fifty in the recently-concluded series.

Rohit was at the launch of an Adidas HomeCourt Store in Chennai, on Thursday, and the Mumbai batsman is keen to continue his marauding form against Australia. “I would be happy if I could repeat the performances from last time (2013). However, a lot of things have changed since then. Australia is a different side with different team dynamics and so is ours. We are playing at different venues, too, but the focus is on exemplary performance,” he said.

According to Rohit, the key to excellence is to come up with a new mindset, always. “Every time you play a new series, you come up with a new mindset and you try and repeat the same performances. So that is what I will try and do. It has helped in the past,” he added.

With the talk about the 2019 World Cup and the rotation policy to identify a core team hogging the limelight, Rohit said tight scheduling and burn outs are no excuses and the focus for all team members is to play as much cricket as possible. “We are used to a packed schedule. It is not something new as it has been happening for a while. We understand how to take care of our body. We have specific people like a doctor, a physio and a trainer who give us the right schedule. It is up to each individual, how he wants to do it. I like to follow the schedule being given to us, starting from the diet. If we follow that, I am sure we would be fine. It has helped,” he said.

“It is also one of the reasons why there is a lot of rotation happening. We have to make sure, we need guys who are more than 100 % fit whenever we play any series, keeping in mind the tight schedule. According to me, cricketers have limited careers. So we have to make the most of the time we have. So no excuses of burnout or being on tight schedule. We must play as much as we may have to,” Rohit added.

Rohit said mentoring spinners like Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal is the key as they have a ‘mystery element’ in them. “I need to see a lot more of Axar before I comment. Whatever he has done so far, in the limited cricket he has played, he has done really well. Guys like Chahal and Kuldeep are very promising. They have done it in the IPL and for their State teams. We have a lot of confidence in them and look forward to them for giving a breakthrough when required. We all know wrist spinners are always helpful and they always come up with some sort of mystery all the time. We can hope they go from strength to strength,” he noted.