Rohit: 'Ready to bat at any position'

Rohit Sharma, who's on his comeback trail to the national side, speaks about opening in Tests, his rehab, and playing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

"If they're (the team management) gonna come and ask me to open in Test cricket, I will think about it."   -  V. Ganesan

Rohit Sharma played his first competitive match after a four-month injury layoff, for Mumbai versus Andhra in the Vijay Hazare trophy at the SSN College of Engineering here on Saturday. He suffered a thigh injury in the fifth match of the ODI series against New Zealand in Visakhapatnam in October last year. He had to undergo a surgery in London, and rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.

Asked how he assessed himself holding up after the match, he said, "I felt good; though I wanted to spend a lot of time batting, which didn’t happen (he scored 16 off 33 balls). Honestly, I was pretty nervous to get back on the field and play.

"I fielded for about 40 overs today. I want to spend as much time in the middle to see if the muscle which was injured can take the load and ease up. That’s something the physios at the NCA told to me to focus on. So, the biggest challenge was to spend as much time in the middle as possible. There is another game (March 6) which I have to play. I look forward to spending more time in the middle, batting and fielding. That will be my real test," he said.

When he was set to return, he had said that he will open the batting for Mumbai. But he didn't on Saturday. "I just didn't want to alter the team composition that's been working out well. The team wanted me to bat at no. 4 and so I did. Also, I felt it's unfair that someone who's been playing at the top all along has to make way for me abruptly."

On whether he would like to open the batting in Test cricket if given a chance, he said, "That's a very big question, actually. I don't want to talk about it. Because, see, it's not right if I talk about where I want to bat in any format. Whatever the team wants, I have to adapt to it; not just me, any player. Like, today was a situation where they wanted me to bat at no. 4. So, I have to be ready to bat anywhere.

"If they're (the team management) gonna come and ask me to open in Test cricket, I will think about it. It's not that I'm going to say no to it. But, you have to think before every decision you make. Like, when the opening position in the ODIs came to me, the team wanted me to bat there because they thought my game will suit opening the innings. Especially in places like England, where the wickets offer a lot of bounce, and since I enjoy playing where there is lot of bounce."

He said that he hadn't spoken to the Board of Control for Cricket in India chairman of selectors M. S. K. Prasad who was present at the match. Prasad said that the selection committee will meet on March 8 in Bengaluru to select the squad for the last two tests versus Australia. As to whether Rohit will be considered, he said, "Let him play the next match."

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