‘Daddy’ Rohit ready to play perfect deputy to Kohli


Mumbai: May 24: India’s ODI deputy Rohit Sharma is a daddy now and with fatherhood comes a lot of responsibility. But the batsman is happy in the zone that he is in and in fact, he goes on to reveal that he is looking to help skipper Virat Kohli in whatever ways he can as Team India look to end the 2019 edition of the World Cup as champions.

“(Laughs) Tell me about it. You don’t get to sleep at all. So, you see life keeps changing for the better. I’m not sleeping the way I used to, but I’m happy about it.

“He’s (Kohli) got a great squad. And he’s done a great job as captain in the last couple of years. I will be there to play my part whenever he needs my help. I’m happy to play a part in that space. Whatever matters for the team is priority no. 1. I’ll be happy to do whatever is asked of me,” he told Times of India.

Asked if playing the role of confidante comes naturally to him, the opener said: “I’ve always been a listener. The kind of person I am, I wouldn’t have evolved one bit if that wasn’t the case. There’s no harm in listening to people — even if the person you’re listening to has just about started playing the game. Let’s get one thing straight here: You can never say you’re the wisest because, that’ll never be the case. I love opinions. In the end, it’s up to you to decide what you want to make of those opinions.”

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Asked about two of his Mumbai Indians teammates — Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah — Rohit said the boys are all geared up for the showpiece event.

“They’ve been shaping up well. Both are heading into their first World Cup. Both are cricketers with positive mindsets. They love a challenge when presented with one. All of that along with the performances they’ve had in the last few month — it augurs well. The good thing about both of them is they constantly want to improve, want to be in the middle of action. Hardik played some crucial knocks this IPL. He’s someone who’s always looking to contribute in some capacity,” the MI skipper explained.

While the world is wary of facing Bumrah, Rohit has the additional task of facing him in closed nets. The batsman says it is close to being a nightmare for him.

“Do I have a choice? Every second, third day, I’m facing him in the nets. He’s even more dangerous in the close nets, because of his action. You actually want to face him in the open nets. He’s difficult to read, and then that pace he can whip up. He’s very different, very special,” he said. (IANS)