India opener Rohit Sharma insists that he has learnt to take criticism in his stride and that he is aware of people continuously talking about him on social media.
Rohit was asked if people talking about him "day in and day out" plays on his mind during a press conference after India clinched an unprecedented series win by crushing South Africa in the fifth ODI in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, February 13.
The 30-year-old came up with a tongue-in-cheek reply before he added that he has passed the age where cricketers think about "what people talk" and "what's going on outside the field".
"I feel privileged if people are talking about me. Of course, people want to talk me, they can talk about me. To be honest, what goes in my head is completely opposite. I am here to do something special for my country," Rohit said.
He added: "Yes, as a youngster, you worry about all those things. But I am past that age now. To keep worrying about what's going on outside the field, what people want to talk, what people don't want to talk.
"As long as you're playing the sport, good things and bad things will happen. When you're doing good things, people will talk, when you're doing bad things, people will still talk. I have managed that really well in the last few years.
"When you're having a good time, you should be aware that you will be having a bad time as well. I am pretty much in that space now."
'Better to let go of whatever happened before 2013'
Despite having made his ODI debut in 2007, Rohit was struggling to cement his place for quite a long while. The right-hander had faced quite a lot of criticism over the years and was even dubbed as "No-hit Sharma" whenever he went through lean patches.
Rohit acknowledged that his batting changed considerably once he was promoted to the top of the batting order in 2013 and wants to be judged only on his performances after the career-changing year.
The Mumbai Indians star played 86 ODIs until 2012 and had hit only two centuries. However, the opener he has hit 15 centuries, which includes record three double tons, in just 93 matches.
"Since 2013, there has been a change in the way I have batted. I used to bat in the middle order and have opened the batting since 2013. So, it's better to let go of whatever happened before 2013. Ask me questions [about my career] since 2013," Rohit said.
Rohit had struggled to get going right through the three-match Test series and his poor form continued in the ODI series as well. However, the vice-captain hit his first ton in South Africa on Tuesday on a sluggish St George's Park wicket to set up India's win.