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Why Rohit will open the batting in IPL-12

March 19, 2019 18:11 IST

The major factor behind Rohit's decision to open is that he won't have much time to prepare for the World Cup, which starts in England on May 30, a couple of weeks after the IPL ends.
Harish Kotian/Rediff.com reports.

Rohit Sharma

IMAGE: Mumbai Indians Captain Rohit Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

With an eye on the World Cup, Mumbai Indians Captain Rohit Sharma revealed that he will open the batting in this year's Indian Premier League.

The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League kicks off on March 23 and Rohit stated he will open in all games for the Mumbai Indians unlike last season when he dropped down to the middle order after opening in the first couple of games.

"In the past I have batted in the middle order and I have opened also in a few games. But whatever the team requires and wherever it wants me to bat, I will bat in that position to make sure that we get the right balance and the right composition of the team as well," Rohit said in Mumbai on Tuesday, March 19.

"This year I will open the batting for all the games, that is for sure," he added.

 

Rohit has been MI's batting mainstay since joining the franchise in 2011.

Under his captaincy, MI won three of the last six IPL titles -- in 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Last season, Rohit opened only in the first two games, in which he scored 15 and 11.

Thereafter, he shifted to the middle to provide more strength to the middle order with the likes of Kieron Pollard, J P Duminy and Hardik Pandya struggling to make an impact.

He ended the tournament with 286 runs in 14 games at an average of 23 with just two fifties as Mumbai failed to make it to the play-offs.

After the addition of Yuvraj Singh to the MI line-up and Pollard back in the runs, Rohit feels confident to move up the order to open -- a position where he has achieved a lot of success for Team India in limited overs cricket.

However, the major factor behind Rohit's decision to open is that he won't have much time to prepare for the World Cup, which starts in England on May 30, a couple of weeks after the IPL ends.

"That (the World Cup) is one of the factors, but also keeping in mind that this is where I bat and this is my position when I play for India. And that is where I got a lot of success of late," Rohit said.

"The team does understand that and as a team also the composition of players we have right now we have got some experience in the middle order and that allows me to go and bat at the top of the order. This is probably the season where I am going to do that, I will try and open in every game possible," he stated.

Mumbai Indians begin their IPL-12 campaign with a game against Delhi Capitals in Mumbai on Sunday, March 24.

Rohit's Mumbai Indians record:

Batting RecordGamesRunsHighest ScoreAverageStrike Rate100s50s4s6s
2018 14 286 94 23.83 133.02 0 2 25 12
2017 17 333 67 23.78 121.97 0 3 31 9
2016 14 489 85* 44.45 132.88 0 5 49 16
2015 16 482 98* 34.42 144.74 0 3 41 21
2014 15 390 59* 30.00 129.13 0 3 31 16
2013 19 538 79* 38.42 131.54 0 4 35 28
2012 17 433 109* 30.92 126.60 1 3 39 18
2011 16 372 87 33.81 125.25 0 3 32 13

Harish Kotian / Rediff.com
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