Gilchrist's advice working for Rohit in IPL
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has come as a big boon for young cricketers who are sharing the dressing room with the leading lights of the game.
Rohit Sharma of the Deccan Chargers is one of those taking full advantage.
The 21-year-old Nagpur-born Telugu-speaking lad, bought by the Hyderabad-based Chargers for $750,000, received a simple piece of advice from Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist - stay positive.
For Rohit, the mantra has worked wonders and he religiously follows it.
"Young cricketers like me have benefited immensely by the IPL. I never expected to get a chance to share the dressing room with Gilchrist. Watching him prepare for any match is a learning curve in itself. He has advised me to stay positive at all times and that has changed my attitude and approach towards the game," Rohit told IANS.
Gilchrist, who retired from international cricket after India's winter tour of Australia, has rated Rohit as the most exciting Indian talent.
After beating Chennai Super Kings Tuesday night, Deccan Chargers is now sixth in the eight-team league. The Mumbai Ranji Trophy batsman, who has played some splendid knocks, is now the leading scorer in the ongoing Twenty20 tournament.
He said it was not easy to pull himself up after every match the Deccan Chargers lost despite his good knocks, but it was Gilchrist who taught Rohit how to chase the blues away.
"It is very difficult to pick oneself up after every defeat and every time I remembered Gilly's encouraging words. He told me not get swayed by the results as my job is only to keep performing. It sounds simple, but is very difficult to follow. I have started following his advice and already and I find the difference in everything I do on the cricket field," Rohit said.
He sticks to the basics even while batting in the shortest version of the game. Not for him the innovative crazy hitting.
"I don't feel Twenty20 is all slam-bang cricket. I have played simple cricketing shots and I don't believe in experimenting too much. Using simple methods, I have scored runs in this tournament."
He said that it was unfortunate that the Deccan Chargers were losing matches in a row despite a good batting line up and hoped his team would find the winning formula soon.
"It's unfortunate that we are not performing well and if we have to qualify for the semi-finals we can't afford to lose any more games. We have come close to winning on a few occasions, but ended up losing. It is high time we put things in order," said Rohit.
While accepting that playing under V.V.S. Laxman has been a great experience, he mentioned that the main reason for his team's dismal performance in the early part of the tournament is that "we are not able to pool our resources and click".
"The innings Gilchrist played against Mumbai Indians can't happen everyday. Everyone has to contribute at the same time for us to win consistently," he said.
Amidst the hoopla of the IPL, Rohit is very much aware of the fact that good performances in the tournament will cement his place in the one-day team but not for the Tests, which remain a priority for him.