India vs Sri Lanka: Rohit Sharma banks on white-ball form to become 'big match-winner' in Tests
Though one can't possibly malign Rohit Sharma's white ball exploits, there continues to sceptics who doubt his red ball credentials.
When India's squad for the three-Test series in Sri Lanka was announced two weeks ago, there was one inclusion that caused dissension among Indian cricket fans, critics and armchair experts: Rohit Sharma.
Though one can't possibly malign his white-ball exploits, there continue to be sceptics who doubt the elegant right hander's red-ball credentials.
Rohit, though, hopes to make the best of his opportunities and be a big match-winner for India in the upcoming series.
Having been rested for the West Indies tour after Champions Trophy in England, Rohit was called in to replace Karun Nair, a man who scored a triple century against England in a long home Test season.
After Nair failed to impress in his consequent matches, managing just 54 runs in his next four innings, the Indian selectors went back to Rohit.
Though he last played a Test against New Zealand in October, he had a more than productive Champions Trophy where he was the second leading run-scorer after Shikhar Dhawan.
He also scored three fifties in five innings in the Test series against New Zealand, averaging nearly 80, before suffering a thigh injury which kept him out of the game for six months.
Rohit, in an interview with bcci.tv, spoke of how untimely injuries have often put the brakes on his Test career but he needs to look past them.
"It was a disappointing injury, I had to miss a lot of Test matches. But again, every sportsman goes through that period of missing out on games through injuries and I kept myself motivated throughout those six months."
The 30-year-old batsman believes the healthy competition for a spot in the middle-order is good for Indian cricket as it motivates the player to constantly improve themselves on the field.
With opener KL Rahul ruled out of the first Test due to viral fever, Rohit is almost certain to play. He insists he doesn't like overthinking things that are beyond his control but rather prefers to stick to the strengths that have earned him a place in the squad.
Taking a fatalistic tone, he adds, "Anything can happen anytime, so it is important that you enjoy and not think too much about the game, try not to take too much pressure on yourself. I think it is important that whatever time you have, try and make the most of it, and enjoy."
Sri Lanka's going through its worst political crisis since independence and the Dimuth Karunaratne-led side will hope to provide fans back home some distraction with a series a good performances against the Tigers.
The magistrate in the capital Colombo also asked police to investigate Monday's mob attacks on peaceful protesters, which led to retaliatory violence that claimed nine lives and caused widespread destruction
Shikhar Dhawan now has 701 fours to his name from 206 IPL matches.