Rohit Sharma has had a rough deal for a while, with a career-threatening thigh injury in 2016 leaving him wondering if he would even walk properly, let alone play cricket. But the pugnacious Mumbai batsman is back on his feet and celebrated his return to Test cricket after a gap of nearly 500 days with a fine century against Sri Lanka in Nagpur. "There will always be regrets in life but I am glad that I am back on my feet playing cricket again," he said. Sharma was responding to a question on whether 22 Test matches in an international career spanning 10 years did justice to the talent that he possesses.
Sharma's century was his third in Tests - the first in more than four years.
"There will always be regrets in your life. Even if you score 10,000 runs, you will feel, 'oh, I should have scored 15,000 runs' or people will tell you, 'you should have scored 15,000 runs, man!" he said.
"But for me, I am glad that I am back on my feet, because when I went through that injury (thigh surgery in 2016), at one point I was thinking whether I will be able to walk or not.
"I'm lucky that I am on my feet, playing and scoring some runs, so yes, I'm happy," Rohit said after India defeated Sri Lanka by an innings and 239 in the second Test.
Currently India's second best player in ODIs after skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit said he wants to live in the present and let bygones be bygones.
"I am not someone who will think about what has happened in the past. I like to see what is in front of me, and yes, that is how I look at it. When I was inexperienced having just come into the team, there were lot of things that I used to think about, but not anymore. I have passed that age where I shouldn't be thinking what happened in the past," the stylish right-hander said.
"I should be ready for what is ahead of me and that's what matters. What has happened in the past is gone - you can never change it. For me, I can change things looking forward, and looking forward is Delhi Test match and thereafter one-day series and then the South Africa series," he said.
There was a point of time in his career when obsession with doing well in Test cricket made him "over-complicate" things and lose focus on his primary goal - enjoying the game he loved.
"My plans are simple and clear. I don't want to complicate things which I have in the past, when had I just come into the team, at the end of the day, it's just a cricket match that you have to play," Rohit said.
"Initially, my focus was much on Test cricket, like 'Oh no this is Test cricket and I have to do well. I have to do this and that. In thinking that I lost a lot of focus and forgot (lost) what I was there for and what I needed to do and pretty clear in mind which is the most important thing."
The VCA Stadium in Nagpur invokes a sense of deja vu in Rohit, who was supposed to make his Test debut back in 2010 but a freak ankle injury during a game of football saw Wriddhiman Saha playing his maiden Test as a batsman.
"Personally for me, it was very important as I was playing Test cricket after nearly 500 days. I have been waiting for this opportunity and I am glad that I could put some runs on the board for myself and team.
"Really happy, that it was worth waiting for so long. I clearly remember this was the ground where I got injured and I had to wait three years to make my test debut. This ground has now given me something now to go back," Sharma concluded.
(With PTI inputs)