Ready to bat anywhere, will leave it to team management: Rohit Sharma on Australia tour

NEW DELHI: He has enjoyed and revelled in his new role as a Test opener, but Rohit Sharma is ready to be flexible about his batting position in the eagerly-anticipated Test series against Australia as per the demands of the team management.
The senior batsman is expected to play a big role alongside Test vicecaptain Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara when skipper Virat Kohli returns to India after the opening Test for the birth of his child.
“I will tell you the same thing that I have told everyone all this while. I will be happy to bat wherever the team wants me to but I don’t know if they would change my role as an opener,” Rohit told PTI in an exclusive interview.
He believes that the team management will have figured out his role in the batting order by the time he would reach Australia
after completing the strength and conditioning work at an National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. He had picked up a minor hamstring injury during the IPL.
“I am sure the guys already in Australia must have figured out what are options when Virat leaves and who are the guys who
will open the innings,” Rohit said.
“Once I reach there, I will probably have a clearer idea of what’s going to happen. I will be okay to bat wherever they want,”
added the dashing batsman, who has a 46-plus average in 32 Tests.
One of the finest players of the hook and pull shots, the Mumbaikar believes that the bounce on Australian tracks is sometimes,
not as big a factor as it is made out to be.
“We talk about bounce but except for Perth, over the past few years, the other grounds (Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney), I don’t
think have that much bounce.
“Nowadays, especially while opening the batting, I will have to think about not playing the cut or pull shots and focus on playing in the ‘V’ and as straight as possible,” he said.
He spoke about how a Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins or Mitchell Starc would keep it full with the new kookaburra.
“With new ball, whoever bowls, whether it’s Starc, Cummins or Hazlewood, they will obviously pitch it up, swing the ball and the bouncer would be used sparingly.
“They would try to ensure with the new ball that they would get some movement off the air or off the pitch. With the new ball,
everybody in the world loves to bowl up and send down one odd bouncer here and there.

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