Mohali, Jan 24: Team India skipper MS Dhoni on Wednesday lavished praise on Rohit Sharma for leading the run chase as he scored a brilliant 83 to help hosts seal the series 3-1 against England at Mohali.
MS Dhoni termed Rohit Sharma as God-gifted talent, after the Mumbai batsman scored a magnificent half century to help India chase a challenging 257/7 in 50 overs.
"I am glad he (Rohit) scored runs because he is one of the most god-gifted talent that is around. Of course an innings like this was very much needed for him. It will give him a lot of confidence and also time at the top level. Personally I am very happy for him," Dhoni said at the post-match press conference.
Dhoni's gamble worked again, as he picked Rohit Sharma ahead of Cheteshwar Pujara for the fourth ODI against England at Mohali. Since Rahane was struggling to score, Rohit replaced him in the playing XI and was also sent to open the innings with Gautam Gambhir.
"We all felt he is someone who can be a really good opener in the sense he cuts and pulls really well. Also with two openers you want one of them to be slightly aggressive than the other I think he accepted the challenge in the sense he also felt he got into the side because Manoj was unfit. So it was an opportunity for him. The good thing was he took it as a challenge," Dhoni said after the team's comprehensive five-wicket win over England at Mohali on Wednesday.
When asked if the gamble had not worked, if Rohit has not delivered, Dhoni said "That's a difficult one. It's very important to think and go in one direction, not only as coach and captain but also with the selectors because at the end of the day, mutually we decide who is the best available talent and you have to give those guys a bit of a rope."
Dhoni also suggested that Rohit Sharma could find it difficult to cement his berth in the ODI team.
He said it was difficult for Rohit to get a place in the middle order as others were doing well and the opener's slot was the only vacant one for him because of injury to some players.