Will not back away from the pull shot - Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma says he will continue to play an attacking game in Test cricket
Rohit Sharma says he will continue to play an attacking game in Test cricket
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India’s middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma has maintained that he will not curb his favorite pull stroke despite falling prey to the shot on the fourth day of the third Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Monday.

The stylish batsman had completed his fourth Test fifty in quick time before top edging a pull straight down the fine leg fielder’s throat, a short while before the scheduled lunch break.

This was the third time in the series that Rohit had been dismissed near the end of a session but the 28 year-old adamantly stated that he will not cut down on his run-scoring stroke.

"If you look at the game carefully, on the first morning, I played that shot I think off Nuwan Pradeep,” said Rohit.

“I played a very similar shot which got me four runs. That's how it works.

“That's my shot, and I play that all the time.

“I am not going to shy away (from) playing my shots.”

Often criticized for being injudicious with his shot selection, Rohit refused to believe that his attacking instincts are costing him in the longer format of the game.

Since compiling successive centuries in his first two Test innings, Rohit has endured a rough patch in his career with his place in the side being under scrutiny often but he insists that he will continue playing his natural game.

"I will back myself and whenever I bat, I always have intent to score runs, not to just be there and survive.

“Sometimes, that ball could have gone a little behind him, it could have fetched me six runs but it went straight into his hands. It's unfortunate."

The series started with Rohit batting at the number three slot which raised huge debate in cricketing circles.

After India’s defeat at Galle, the team-management decided to push Rohit down to number five, swapping his position with that of Ajinkya Rahane who moved up to number three.

Despite his position in the batting order being shuffled a lot in recent times, Rohit appeared unfazed by his demotion in the batting order.

Although he declared his intent of batting higher in the line-up, Rohit stated that he didn’t mind doing any role that the team-management wanted him to perform.

"If you ask anyone, they are not going to say 'this is my number'.

“Nowhere it's written in the world that number four belongs to this person, number three belongs to that person.

“As a batsman, you want to bat as up the order as possible to get more opportunities, face more balls and score big runs.

"But the management felt I should bat at number five and they came and spoke to me and I was okay with whatever they wanted.

“I cannot have my own preference, it's a team game and you do what the team wants from you.”

Cheteshwar Pujara’s century in the first innings of the ongoing Test has further spiced up the selection debate for the upcoming South Africa series.

With Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay expected to be back at the top of the order, it will be a tussle between Pujara and Rohit for a spot in the XI.

While he is aware of the possible selection scenarios, Rohit doesn’t feel that he is under any pressure and instead opined that the selection panel will have a headache regarding whom to pick.

"The pressure I feel will be on the management and the captain to decide the playing eleven, not on me.

“I have to play my game when I get an opportunity. That's how I look at it."

With two half-centuries in the three Tests, Rohit has ended the series as India’s second highest run-scorer in the series behind his skipper Virat Kohli.

© Cricket World 2015