'Happy that I converted my start into a big score'
Rohit Sharma was a visibly happy man after a superlative unbeaten 141 in a record chase by India in the second ODI against Australia in Jaipur on Wednesday.
He termed the knock the "best that he has ever been part of" in his six-year international career.
"Obviously, this is my best innings in ODI cricket and probably the best chase that I have been part of in my six years with the Indian team. I am very happy that I have converted my start into a big score, but more satisfied as the team won chasing a tough target," Rohit told reporters at the post-match press conference.
Asked if he was a relieved man after his innings, he gave a tongue-in-cheek reply.
"I guess, you guys were more frustrated than me for not getting a hundred. I can see quite a few smiles there and that really feels heartening."
Image: Rohit Sharma
'We needed to hold our nerves and we did that'
Having scored 141 off only 123 balls, Rohit said the team never thought the target was beyond reach.
"With the new set of ODI rules you have five fielders inside the circle, which makes it very difficult for the bowlers to contain. We knew that the chase was tough but, certainly, not impossible. Myself and Shikhar got a good start, and then Virat played some unbelievable shots to become the fastest Indian to score a century in ODIs."
Rohit did admit that dew played an important role in the context of the match.
"We knew that bowlers will have difficulty due to the dew factor. We needed to hold our nerves and we did that. We had to capitalize on loose balls. We have now got the momentum and we can't be complacent. We have to carry from here on," he said.
Image: Rohit Sharma
'Shikhar got us the momentum with his strokeplay'
On a personal note, Rohit said it was an important knock simply because of the magnitude of runs he scored.
"It was satisfying that I stayed at the wicket and got a big score. But I don’t want to stop here as I want to play many more knocks like this in the years to come," he said.
Rohit revealed that he and Shikhar Dhawan had decided to break the chase into small targets.
"We decided that we will take 40 runs at a time and Shikhar got us the momentum with his stroke-play. It's unfortunate that he got out but he was just trying to play his natural game."
Image: Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan
'I don't think we need to worry too much about the bowling'
The opener, however, defended the poor show by the Indian bowlers, who have now given away 864 runs in 120 overs (in three matches) at an average of 7.20.
"I don't think that we need to worry too much about the bowling. This can happen sometimes and you must realize that with the new set of ODI rules it is really against the bowlers. They have won us series previously," he said.
Asked whether he felt sad for the bowlers, Rohit replied, "They (bowlers) don't feel sad when they get us out. In professional sport, you have got to be ruthless."
Having been named the Mumbai captain after his predecessor, Ajit Agarkar, called it quits earlier in the day, Rohit did not forget to mention the contribution of the former speedster.
"He has been a tremendous servant for Mumbai and Indian cricket. It was a real pleasure to share the dressing room with Ajit and play alongside him in a Ranji Trophy winning squad. Mumbai will surely miss him."
Image: Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli