India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was thrilled for under-pressure batsman Rohit Sharma, after he scored a well overdue 83 to help India win the fourth ODI against England in Mohali by five wickets.
Rohit was brought into the side to replace out-of-form Ajinkya Rahane at the top of the order, but the inclusion was met with skepticism as Rohit had not reached double figures in his previous three ODIs.
Many had been calling for the inclusion of Cheteshwar Pujara, who had impressed in the Test side, but Dhoni was glad he stuck with Rohit, whose ODI average of 31 over 87 matches belied a talented player.
The skipper said: "I am glad he scored runs because he is one of the most god-gifted talents 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."
He added: "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 more aggressive than the other.
"I think he accepted the challenge, he also felt he got into the side because Manoj [Tiwary] was unfit. So it was an opportunity for him. The good thing was he took it as a challenge."
Dhoni defended his policy of giving out-of-form players an extended run in the side, and he felt that Rohit's performance, and also that of Ravindra Jadeja, proved that enough game time would eventually lead to success.
He said: "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 Rohit 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 the last series in Sri Lanka where he got a few good deliveries."