Rohit Sharma was adjudged the Man-of-the-Series for his record-breaking series against South Africa, that ended on Tuesday with an innings and 202-run win over the visitors in Ranchi.
Asked to open the batting and in what was being seen as a last opportunity to seal a spot in the Test side, Rohit replied in fine fashion. The Mumbaikar slammed three centuries and finished with 529 runs from 3 games at an average of 132.25 as India clean sweeped South Africa for the first time in a Test series.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Rohit thanked the team management for the opportunity.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity to the management for that opening slot. I can take a lot of positives about how to counter the new ball. The new ball is always a threat, and to be able to counter that will be a huge positive. I can take my game forward from that," Rohit said.
What stood out in Ranchi was the way Rohit took his time to settle in and then played his shots before registering his first-ever double hundred in Tests and fourth overall in international cricket.
"It's something that started in 2013 when I started opening in white-ball cricket. I realised you need some discipline at the start of the innings. It's a template to my batting that allows me some success to my batting. I believe that I can do that for the team, and there are lots of aspects that you need to be mindful of when you're opening," when asked about discipline at the top of the order.
"The support of the coach and captain helps. (Double hundreds) Test cricket is a different game. Getting that big score will give confidence moving forward," Rohit added.
The 32-year-old finished the series with an average of 99.8 -- the most by any player in Test cricket at home. It is more than Bradman's average at home, which is 98.2 but according to the swashbuckling opener, he doesn't think of records and his first aim is to put the team in a good position.
I always believe that once you are in, it is only mistakes that can get you out. We saw how hard it was to counter that new ball, and once you pass that stage, it's all about how you want to pace yourself. I kept telling myself I want to be there, I want to get a big score and take my team to a good position."