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Ready for Australia’s pace challenge: Rohit Sharma

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New Delhi: Gearing up for the pace test that awaits India in Australia come December, batsman Rohit Sharma said the likes of Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle would be a tough challenge to deal with but the Indians are no longer intimidated by bouncy tracks Down Under. “Australia will be a challenging tour for us. Mentally, each and every cricketer have a different way of preparing or doing their respective homework for a tour. I am no different and I will also have my plans in place as we come nearer to the time of the tour,” Rohit told PTI in an interview.
“Facing the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris will be a stern test. But we have faced Dale Steyn, More Morkel in South Africa. We have played on bouncy as well as seaming pitches in South Africa, New Zealand and England in the past one year. “Also, most of us have been to Australia before and know what to expect from pitches out there. Also it will be a good preparation for us before the World Cup, next year,” he explained.
The tour includes four Test matches starting December 4 in Brisbane. The series’ other games will be played in Adelaide (December 12 to 16), Melbourne (December 26 to 30) and Sydney (January 3 to 7).
After a break, the ODI tri-series will start on January 16, the finale of which will take place on February 1 in Perth. Rohit has been more consistent as a batsman after he started opening the batting for India in the ODIs and he admitted as much. “Opening the batting for India changed me as a player. My perspective on building an innings has improved tremendously since I started opening the batting. I believe I have become a better overall cricketer once I started opening the batting,” said Rohit.
Ajinkya Rahane has also done well as an opener in England ODIs and Rohit does not feel that there is any competition between him and the fellow Mumbaikar. “I have loved my role as an opener but I am proud of what Ajinkya has achieved in England. For me, it does not matter which position I am batting as long as I am making a contribution to team’s cause. If I am told to open by the team management, I would humbly accept it and if I told to bat in the middle-order, it will be an equal honour. I have no choices or preferences as far as batting slots are concerned,” said Rohit.

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