Kandy: Indian batsman Rohit Sharma on Wednesday said that he is excited to step on to the field as the team's new vice-captain ahead of the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series, beginning on August 20.
"It's a huge honour to be appointed vice-captain. Ten years ago I was only thinking of playing for India and now it feels really, really good," Rohit said at a press conference after the visiting squad's training sessions.
"I am looking forward to it. It is a good opportunity and I am excited to get into that field as vice-captain of the Indian team. I am not thinking too much about it. I just want to enjoy the moment as of now."
Rohit, who arrived in the Indian squad for the first time during the World Twenty20 2007, looked back at his career till date.
"Firstly, it's gone very fast, those ten years. Yes, there have been ups and downs but that's how it is for any sportsman, and that's how it should be. You get to learn a lot more from ups and downs," the 30-year-old said.
"Before those ten years, I never thought I would play for India. I was just enjoying my cricket, playing for my school, for Mumbai and yes, once I realised that cricket is getting tougher and tougher.
"When I started playing Ranji Trophy, I realised that I have that goal where I can look at. And once I was picked up for Indian team, there was no looking back from then," he reflected.
The Mumbai right-hander also said that he is still trying to improve every day. "Today I got to learn playing those sweeps and reverse sweeps when someone like Lasith Malinga comes and bowls to you. So everyday you enter the field you go on to learn something new," he said.
"There were so many things in ten years I have learnt. Especially in limited overs format initially when I came in, I sort of used to play too many shots at once and now I have realised that it cannot be going out and just slogging every time," he reasoned.
"You got to understand the situation, the conditions and that's what I have learnt over these years with so many coaches around. I will still continue to learn and that is the greatest part of this sport, that you learn every day and there is something to look forward to every day."
Though he had skippered Mumbai Indians to two Indian Premier League (IPL) titles, Rohit said that playing in the domestic tournament is different to international cricket.
"It's a different ball-game. IPL and playing for India is different. I am the vice-captain here, there I was the captain, and so I was more in front. Here I have to play a little behind-the-scenes role. But the excitement and energy level is same,' he felt.
Rohit, who didn't feature in any of the three Tests which India won, was also looking forward to make the opportunities in the limited overs count.
"I always wait for this opportunity, whenever I get this opportunity, to play for India, whichever format it is," he said.
On getting into the Test side, he said: It depends on the team dynamics and what the captain and coach decide to play. But during those times, I kept working on my skills. You can not sit and waste time. It's important just to see where things are going wrong. To strengthen my strengths further."