Left overwhelmed after the emotional farewell of Sachin Tendulkar,Indian batsman Rohit Sharma today said the team will miss the sage advice of the iconic batsman in difficult situations but will eventually have to come to terms with the void.
“Now that he (Tendulkar) won’t be there with him anymore,I don’t know how the team members will react when confronted with different situations. We need to get over this feeling (not having Tendulkar around) quickly or but we don’t know how we would do it. His presence will be missed in the dressing room,” an emotional Rohit told the mediapersons at the end of the Test series.
A teary-eyed Tendulkar gave a sterling farewell speech after India won the second and final Test against the West Indies by an innings and Rohit said the entire team became emotional during the speech.
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“That was an emotional speech given by him. He thanked each and everyone and that’s a quality. Just watching what was happening around,I really did not know how to react. I was simply looking at him. We wanted to do something special for this very special man as we knew that this is the last time that we are seeing him in ‘Whites’. When I go home today,probably,it will be something that I will be thinking about,” said Rohit.
Asked how the Indian players will get technical advice from Tendulkar now that he has retired,Rohit showed his witty side,saying “His house is just five minutes from my place. If he is free,I will just go and take his advice.”
On a serious note,Rohit said,”Tendulkar brought so many things to the table. He taught us not only about importance of good performance but also the importance of good on-field conduct. He taught us about what sort of mindset you need to have when you play abroad.
“Someone like me learnt a lot from Tendulkar on my first tour to South Africa in 2010 (he went on a short tour of World T20 in 2007 and IPL II in 2009 before that) and also during the CB series in Australia before that.”
Rohit said it was not a disappointment that Tendulkar was out for a dazzling 74 and did not score a century in his farewell Test.
“Look he has scored so many centuries in his 24-year career that even if he had not scored any runs,it would not have mattered. We are all extremely proud and happy for what he has given us and the country in the last 24 years,” said the talented batsman.
Having scored 288 runs in two innings in his debut series and won the Man-of-the-Series award,Rohit was happy with the kind of start he has got in his Test career.
“This was a big match and an important one for me also. I am happy that the team has won and I have made a good contribution in the winning cause. Also,it was Sachin’s farewell Test match. It will now take three to four days time for everything to sink in. I guess this will time and again hit us that Sachin won’t be in that dressing room anymore,” he said.
Asked if West Indies bowling attack was below par,Rohit said,”I don’t think they are a bad bowling attack. In the first Test at the Eden Gardens,it was 80 for four,which meant that they were not that bad. They had some decent spinners in their ranks. Also playing at home in conditions that are known to you is an advantage.”
Rohit agreed that the real challenge was performing in adverse foreign conditions but his present focus was on the ODI series against the West Indies that starts on November 21.
“It’s just been a start of a journey for me as far as Test cricket is concerned. I know it is important to perform outside India also. I will have my preparation done accordingly as I have a fair amount of idea about the pitches in South Africa. I have waited to play in whites for long time. But right now the focus is on the ODI series against West Indies,” the Mumbai batsman said.
Rohit also does not want to pile pressure upon himself by thinking about the views of some experts that he was carrying the legacy of Mumbai batsmanship forward.
“I am not thinking about all that. It is certainly not fair to compare me with someone like Tendulkar. I have just started my Test career. My career is just two Tests old. Whenever I get an opportunity,I will try and do well in them. I just want to keep scoring big runs.”
Rohit said that there had not been any celebration in the dressing room with coach Duncan Fletcher addressing the players as he always does at the end of any series.