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INTERVIEW: Rohit Sharma

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Indian batsman Rohit Sharma
Kolkata: Indian batsman Rohit Sharma celebrates his double century during the 4th ODI between India and Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, on Nov 13, 2014. (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)
Indian batsman Rohit Sharma celebrates his double century during the 4th ODI between India and Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, on Nov 13, 2014.

After cracking a world record 264 against Sri Lanka in an ODI here, India’s stylish opener Rohit Sharma ┬ámade it clear that he would not rest on his laurels, as he had “still lot more to do”.

Having set the stage for India’s emphatic 153-run win over the islanders at the Eden Gardens with his dream comeback innings, when he surpassed Virender Sehwag’s existing world record of 219, the 27-year-old Mumbaikar said he was now a happy man.

“I am happy, not relieved. I can tell you that at a young age, I never thought I will play that kind of innings and all the records happened to me. Still there is lot more to do,” he said at the post-match media conference.

Sharma, who had to pull out midway into the England trip in August following a finger injury and remained out of action this long, is now also the first player in ODI history to score two double hundreds.

Stating that the last two and a half months were not easy, Sharma thanked the BCCI and physio Vaibhav Dhaga for his comeback.

“The last two and half months were very tough time for me. The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), its physio, and lot of others helped.

“Thanks to all of them, specially the physio. Without his help, I wouldn’t have made a comeback.”

The right-hander, who struck 33 boundaries and nine sixes during his 173-ball essay, said the initial overs were not easy as he had been out of competitive cricket for some time.

“After being away from competitive cricket for months, the initial overs were not easy. Shot-making and execution were not easy. I showed my determination and I like to thank (opening partner) Ajinkya Rahane who helped me settle down.”

Asked whether Sehwag’s record was there at the back of his mind, Sharma said: “I knew about this innings. The last time when I scored a double hundred someone told me about that innings.

“But this time when I batted, it was not in my mind. But sometime after scoring the 200, when I saw all my colleagues giving me a standing ovation, I realised I had broken it.”

Sharma said he had no problem whether he was asked to open the innings or play in the middle order.

“It’s upto the team management. The World Cup is around. I will play wherever they want me to.”

Sharma said he would celebrate the knock as it was a “special moment” in his career. “It’s a great innings in a great ground.”

He said the coming Australia series would be very challenging.

“It’s a tough team and a tough series. Playing in Australia is not so easy.”

Sharma said he loved playing in Kolkata.

“It’s a great place. I have so many fond meories. Whenever I play here, I make some records.”

 

Having scored a record-breaking ODI double century at the Eden Gardens here against the visiting Sri Lankans, India batting star Rohit Sharma said staying at the crease for the entire 50 overs was the most pleasing thing.

“The fact that I went on to bat for 50 overs was very pleasing because I have been working on batting as long as possible and I am happy that I could do so and glad that the team won,” said Sharma who, besides becoming the only batsman to score a double century twice, also pocketed the highest individual score with his epochal 264.

Even as he said scoring a 300 might be possibility, Sharma asserted his 264 will always remain special.

“I will try to get there (a triple century), but as of now I will take the 264,” said the Mumbaikar who propelled India to a mammoth 404/5 to trounce the Sri Lankans by 153 runs.

The middle order batsman admitted that he contributed towards the run-out of skipper Virat Kohli with whom he stitched a 202-run partnership.

“It was my mistake but I did not allow that to deflect my focus and kept on telling myself to carry on,” said Sharma, who hit 33 fours and nine sixes.

Declared the man of the match and awarded with a cash prize by the Cricket Association of Bengal, Sharma said his latest innings at Eden will forever remain special.

“I have many fond memories at this ground but this will forever remain special,” he said.