Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 21 (ANI): India batsman Rohit Sharma on Sunday said that the 161-run knock played by him in the second Test against England was very satisfying to him personally as it came under challenging circumstances.
The four-match series currently stands level at 1-1 and now both teams will lock horns in a pink-ball Test, beginning February 24 at the Motera Stadium. In the first innings of the second Test, Rohit had gone on to play a knock of 161 as India posted 329 runs on the board. As a result of this knock, he also attained 14th position in ICC Test batsmen rankings.
The second Test pitch led to some sort of criticism from former players like Michael Vaughan and Mark Waugh and the duo termed the pitch as “sub-standard”.
“I have mentioned earlier as well that I would not rate any of my knocks or put one ahead of another one, every knock you play comes under different circumstances and situations. All those knocks are very important, it was satisfying to play that 161-run knock in the second Test under pressure and get the team to a decent total in the first innings, it was very important from the team’s perspective. It was very satisfying to me personally,” said Rohit while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
“Once I realised that the ball started to turn, there was kind of a little bit of rough outside the off-stump for the off-spinner. I realised that you have to be a little bit positive in your intent and slightly unorthodox in your gameplay. Of course, knowing the strategy of the bowler was also important and I knew he was bowling outside the off-stump outside the rough so I knew sweeping would be a good option because there were two fielders placed on the boundary line, so it was a safer option to take, I went ahead with that,” he added.
When quizzed about the Motera Stadium and its pitch, Rohit replied: “It is the largest stadium in the world, we were all excited to come down to the ground and see the outfield, we had a couple of good sessions, the facility looks quite good. We have got a gym inside the ground, it looks a pretty good stadium and I cannot wait to see the spectators coming around and seeing the pink-ball Test.”
“Still, early days to talk about the pitch, I do not see anything changing in the pitch, what we played in the second Test, it is going to be more or less the same, it is going to turn a little, we are preparing according to that, when the day comes, we still need to assess the conditions, it has been a while since a last international game was played here,” he added.
When asked about batting under the twilight period in the day-night Test, Rohit said: “So far, I have just heard that it kind of plays on the batsman’s mind. I have just played one pink-ball Test and that was against Bangladesh in 2019. I have not batted in that time where the sun is about to set and the weather changes slightly. I have heard from others and I have tried to learn about batting during this time. The light suddenly changes during this time so you just have to be extra cautious and obviously, it is during that time, when you are starting the second session.”
“It is important that you keep talking to yourself about being extra cautious during that time. All our batters are very much aware of it, we have had a separate chat about what happens during that phase, you just need to be mindful of the situation,” he added.
Talking about helping the bowlers in the middle, Rohit said: “We like to work as a group, there are no individual plans, there are dedicated players for the dedicated roles, there are certain types of roles in the team and obviously, when you have played the game, you do understand what can happen in the game and you try to communicate to the bowlers. It is about helping the bowlers in easing their plans, I am standing at the slips and I try to read the game from behind. It is important for me to pass on the information regarding what the batters are trying to do.”
India had achieved an emphatic 317-run win against England in the second Test of the ongoing four-match series. As a result, the series stands level at 1-1 and the Virat Kohli-led side has also reached the second spot in World Test Championship (WTC) standings.
India remains in contention to make the final of the ICC World Test Championship. The victory in Chennai on Tuesday has lifted India to the second position with 69.7 percentage points on the points table but they cannot afford to lose another match as they need to win 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the final of the maiden edition of the championship.
England, who led the table after winning the opening Test, has slipped to the fourth spot with 67.0 percentage points. They can still qualify, but for that, they must win both remaining matches of the series against India. (ANI)