Rohit Sharma in a comfort zone as ODI opener

An injured finger has kept Rohit Sharma from being available for ODI selection against the touring West Indians, but getting close to full fitness, the Mumbai batsman hopes to continue in the role of an opener in coloured jersey.

Rohit said his finger is close to getting healed and he is looking to get back on the field. “Finger is fine. I am feeling well. It’s almost 70 to 80 per cent healed. It is in the last stage of healing. I am going to start gripping my bat from tomorrow [Friday].”

Since Rohit’s unavailability, Ajinkya Rahane has filled in as ODI opener for India and has done remarkably well, including a maiden ODI century in England. But Rohit said competition for places will only improve Indian cricketers.

“Competition will always be good for the game,” he said. “Guys will try harder and produce good results. Personally, I am not even thinking [about competition for places] as I have a lot of other things to do, like get fit first and work my way back onto the field.”

Rohit’s limited-overs career has blossomed ever since he was moved to the top in January last year.

“As an opener, you have to be a little more cautious with the two new balls moving around,” he said. “The ball does quite a bit. While opening, you have to be extra focused. Being cautious has helped my batting. It’s not that when you bat in the middle order, there is no challenge or you have to be a little less cautious, but opening has helped get the best out of me,” the recuperating batsman said.

Rohit, who captains his IPL team Mumbai Indians, had also missed the Champions League Twenty20 but hopes to regain match fitness for the three-Test series against West Indies and the Australia tour starting December.