Brisbane [Australia], January 16 (ANI): India opener Rohit Sharma on Saturday said that it is now time for him to test himself as an opener in the longest format of the game after doing well for the country in the shorter formats.
The opening batsman also added that he just wants to fulfill the role given to him by the team management and does not focus much on what is happening outside.
"It's only three innings, of course, I have opened in India in the limited-overs format, it is time for me to test myself in the longer format as well, the team has shown a lot of confidence in my ability at the top. I have to do what the team expects me to do, I don't need to worry about what happens outside. The team expects me to play a certain role at the top of the order and I will try to do it as much as I can," said Rohit during the virtual press conference.
"Having watched first two Tests in Adelaide and Melbourne while I was in quarantine, I saw the discipline the Australian bowlers had. You have to try to figure out how to score runs against these guys, they do not give anything so easily. It is something I was trying to think about my batting when I was not playing, in the first half of my batting. I was getting closer to the ball and once I am in, I try to hit few shots, in the end, you want to score runs, it worked until I got out," he added.
Talking about his partnership with Shubman Gill in this series, Rohit said: "Gill and I understand the importance of good start. We respect the good balls, our mindset has been to score runs as well when a loose ball is bowled. We don't come in with a mindset of blocking and surviving. If anything is pitched up, we need to put that away. Gill likes to take the bowlers on, he showed solid composure in Sydney and Melbourne, he got a good ball today, he will learn, it's just his third Test, he has shown that he belongs at this level."
India had dismissed Australia for 369 in the first innings as Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan and Washington Sundar scalped three wickets each.
"We stuck to our plans, 30-40 runs less would have been nice but we will take what we got. Shardul, Navdeep have played a lot of cricket for India A, they have come to Australia and they know difficult it can be once the batsmen get settled. Because of their experience of playing here, it kept them in good stead. To come here and restrict Australia under 400 is also an achievement, they got 370 here, but we have an inexperienced attack," said Rohit.
"We have stayed in the game in all the Test matches, we have competed really hard, if we bat well tomorrow, anything can happen. I am not a bowler, but I have seen Shardul for many years now. I have seen him bowl a lot, I understand his strength, he likes to swing the ball and he likes to pitch it up, so that he can knick off the batter. He is just playing his second Test, all these guys have worked really hard. He has been with the team for a number of years now, in patches, he bowled well, consistency needs to be there but it will come once he plays regularly," he added. (ANI)