Kolkata, Nov 7: Making his Test debut after playing in 108 ODIs over the last 45 months, ton-up Indian batsman Rohit Sharma said his source of inspiration has been former Australian run-machine Mike Hussey, who had played his first game in the five-day format aged 30.
Sharma stamped his class by hitting an unbeaten 127 on debut as India recovered from a top-order collapse to take a firm grip of the first Test against the West Indies with a 120-run first-innings lead at the Eden Gardens.
"Being a sportsman, there are a lot of inspiration to take from so many sportsmen around the world. You got to look at Michael Hussey... He made his debut at 30. There are a lot of other cricketers who waited for their opportunity... So I'm no different," Sharma told reporters.
"I am one of them. I know once I get an opportunity I would try and make the most out of it. I never wanted to put my head down. I always believed if you got the talent and ability, there's no need to worry about anything," Sharma added after his sparkling knock on the second day on Thursday (November 7).
The Mumbaikar said he knew his time in Test cricket would come. "I know there was a phase when things were not going my way. But I never put my head down. I just wanted to focus... I knew there would be a time when runs will flow. I just waited, waited... Kept working on my game hard and today I'm really happy what's happened."
In February 2010, Sharma was assured of making his Test debut against South Africa in Nagpur, but he twisted his ankle in a freak mishap with Wriddhiman Saha, giving the opportunity to the Bengal wicketkeeper.
"I was a bit disappointed about what happened in 2010. I just wanted to have all my focus on this Test. Finally, it came. Whether it came after three years does not matter. Asked whether he's in the form of his life, he said: "I really don't know. Whenever it happens you got to be proud, you got to take that."