Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai Indians captain, had batted mostly at Nos. 3, 4 and 5 last season for a combined 12 innings out of 14 and managed only 286 runs in all, his poorest tally in an IPL tournament. His best knock in IPL 2018 – 94 against Royal Challengers Bangalore – came when he batted at No. 4 but he had effectively opened that day because Mumbai was 0 for 2 after the first two balls of the match.
It is well known that Rohit is a relatively slow starter and once he faces 30-odd balls, he shoots up his strike-rate with seemingly effortless strokes to script match-winning knocks.
Keeping all this in mind, the ‘Hitman’ of Indian cricket has decided to open the batting for the three-time champions in most of the matches in the IPL 2019.
“I have in the past batted in the middle order and I’ve opened also in a few games so wherever the team requires me to bat I have to bat to get the right balance,” Rohit said at Mumbai Indians’ pre-season press conference.
“But this year, I will open the batting for all the games, that is for sure. That (World Cup) is one of the factors but also keeping in mind that this is where I bat, that is my position when I play for India and that is where I have got a lot of success off late.
“The team does understand that, and as a team also the composition of the players we have right now, we’ve got some experience in the middle order so that allows me to go and bat at the top of the order. This season I’ll try and do that – open in every game possible,” he added.
Mumbai will begin their IPL 2019 campaign on March 24 against Delhi Capitals at their home ground, Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.