Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today praised Rohit Sharma for his contribution in India's comprehensive five-wicket victory over England in the fourth ODI here and described him as the "most god-gifted talent around".
"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.
"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," he added.
Asked what would have happened to Rohit, who scored 83 today, if he had failed to deliver, 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.
"I don't know what would have happened if he had not scored runs or in any other scenario. The best that we could have done was give him another chance in Dharamsala and then see because we are not playing too many ODIs after that. We all felt he is very talented, he got an opportunity in last series in Sri Lanka where he got a few good deliveries," Dhoni said.
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.