New Delhi: Rohit Sharma's success in the role of an opener has given a new lease of life to his international career and the promising batsman believes that the current run of form has been "the best and most satisfying phase" since he donned India colours.
     
"From the point of view of consistency, this has certainly been the best phase as an international cricketer. I am enjoying my new role as an opener. That I have been successful and my contribution has helped the team's cause makes it even more satisfying. I am hoping to keep up the good work," Sharma said in an interview.
     
In the 12 matches since he was asked to open, the talented 26-year-old Mumbaikar has scored five half-centuries apart from two near-50 scores and Sharma attributes it to the sound technique that he possesses.
     
"I was always confident about my technique. The opener's job is specialized one but I always knew that I could hold my own if I am given an opportunity at the top of the order. Also I have opened a couple of times in T20's for India, so it wasn't an entirely new experience," said Sharma, who scored a match-winning 83 against England in Mohali, on his maiden appearance as an opener.
     
On his own admission, the offer to open the innings came suddenly to him.
     
"I wasn't exactly surprised but I knew that it would be challenging. But then in life, when challenges are thrown at you, you should believe in your instincts and go for it. The innings of 83 against England wasn't the best but certainly an effort that proved to be a morale booster for me," stated Sharma, who has scored 2,459 runs in 98 ODIs with two centuries and 17 half-centuries.
     
Asked about the change in ODI opener's role since two new balls are being used, he admitted that it is indeed a big challenge.
     
"The opener's role with two new balls coming into play has changed. It's no longer going after the bowling from the word 'go'. There are a few shots which should be avoided during the initial overs", he said.

(Agencies)

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