'Reminded me of those days' - Rohit's throwback moment after walking in at No.7 in Barbados
Rohit Sharma felt "reminded of those days" after walking in at No.7 to finish off India's rather stuttery chase on a tricky Barbados surface in the opening game of the three-match ODI series against the West Indies on Thursday (July 27).
Chasing a paltry 115, India decided to rejig their batting unit with a clear intention to provide their limited-overs specialists game time in the middle. But even as wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan, who was promoted to open the innings, made an assured and controlled half-century, the rest of the batting failed to make an impression to leave India 97/5.
After voluntarily deciding not to bat for a major part of the run-chase, Rohit was forced to ultimately arrive at No.7 and scored 12* off 19 deliveries to see India through.
That India needed one of the marquee old-guard members to reach home left a bittersweet feeling in the mouth about the win but the team management got what they wanted out of the fixture.
Rohit on batting No.7 in Barbados One-Dayer
Speaking about his knock and the tweak in the batting order at the post-match presentation ceremony, Rohit felt reminisced of the infant stage of his India career when the only opening for him in a packed batting line-up was down the order.
The last instance of Rohit batting as low as No.7 in the batting unit came as far back as 2011 when Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam would form a marquee top-order of the side and the middle-order had the exuberance and promise of Virat Kohli at No.4 being guided at the other end by stalwarts Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina.
Rohit was brutally criticised for his failures at the time but very seldom we recognised he held a sporadic presence in the first XI, playing only when one of the esteemed names rested.
"I made my debut for India and was batting at number 7, reminded me of those days," Rohit said. "We wanted to give game time to the ODI guys who have come in, we will keep trying those things whenever possible. To restrict them to 115, we knew we could try these guys and give them a go. I don’t think they’ll get many chances like this."