New Delhi, Jan 11: He has been one of India's most dependable batsman in ODIs and Rohit Sharma feels that outgoing captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's "decision" to make him open the batting in 50-over format was a "career-changing move".
"I believe the decision to open in ODIs changed my career and it was a decision taken by MS Dhoni. I became a better batsman after that. In fact it helped me understand my game better, react better according to situations," Rohit told PTI in an exclusive interview.
He first opened in early 2013 against England during the home series, scoring 80 odd runs and followed that up with a steady show in the Champions Trophy.
So does he remember how he was approached, Rohit recollects it was in customary MSD style -- in a very matter of fact manner.
"He (Dhoni) just came up to me and said 'I want you to open the innings as I am confident that you will do well. Since you can play both cut and pull shot well, you have the qualities to succeed as an opener'," Rohit said.
"He told me that I shouldn't be scared of failures or get upset by criticism. He was looking at the bigger picture as the Champions Trophy was scheduled in England that year," said Rohit, the only player in world cricket with two double hundreds in ODIs.
According to Rohit, Dhoni's reading of a player's ability is peerless.
"The Champions Trophy in England made me confident that I can open and ready to face challenges of playing white ball in English conditions in the morning.
"I got 65 against South Africa, who had Morne Morkel, Ryan McLaren, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Rory Kleinveldt. Morne and McLaren were hitting three quarter length and Tsotsobe was swinging it. The skipper was confident that I could handle the situation and I did," the world record holder for highest individual score in ODIs, said.