Rohit Sharma has stated that communication and understanding with Ajinkya Rahane is the key to their successful partnerships against Australia in the recently concluded ODI series. The 30-year-old added that the duo understood the importance of opening partnership as results tend to rely on them.
Rahane has always been the third opening option behind Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan and got a chance to prove his mettle against the West Indies in June due to Sharma’s absence. 336 runs later, he walked off with the man of the series award as India wrapped up the series 4-1. However, in the Sri Lanka series that followed, Rahane had to be content with a spot on the bench. The Mumbaikar got a chance to play the Australia series all thanks to Dhawan, who was released from the squad to tend to his unwell wife, and utilized his chance to the fullest scoring four consecutive half-centuries while being involved in a third successive century stand of 139, 106, and 124 with Sharma.
"We have played together a lot of cricket in Mumbai and we understand each other and we know each other's game really well and we talk a lot in the middle, about when we need to take risk and when we needn't," Rohit explained after scoring a match-winning 125 in the fifth ODI against Australia.
"These are the little things that really help in building a partnership. I guess in the last three games we've got hundred-run partnerships and that's only through the communication we've had in the middle. It's important that you keep talking to your partner, making him comfortable, and it goes the other way as well.
"And he [Rahane] has played really well throughout the tournament, scoring four fifties in the last four games and he's shown a lot of
Sharma has been in imperious form ever since returning from a thigh injury he suffered during the New Zealand series a year ago and has scored 902 runs in 15 matches at an average of 69.38 with four centuries since his return during the Champions Trophy in June. Although he was rested for the West Indies tour, he made a brilliant comeback in Sri Lanka and scored two successive hundreds and a fifty. He credited his fitness routine and not being worried about the future as the reason for his marked improvement.
"It is my job to score runs as an opener. The team really depends on the start that we give. It adds to the success of the team. I just go out and play my game. That is what I am going to do in the future, see the opposition and plan accordingly," Sharma said.
“Since I started opening, I knew that I would be on the ground for 100 overs, and the fitness routine has never changed. You’ve got to understand your body really well. And we’ve got special people who give us the direction we need to go and understand the body. The fitness routine has been planned for each individual and we try and stick to it. We know that over the next few years, it’s going to be quite a lot of games we have to play and we have to understand and stick to that programme given to us.”