Rohit Sharma said that he was able to score half-century in the first innings due to the positive intent that he could display by not just trying to survive on a tricky Ahmedabad pitch where India defeated England by 10 wickets.
India’s Opener Rohit Sharma scored the only half-century of the match with India’s spinners scalping 18 wickets in the 3rd Test match. England’s batsmen were trapped by Axar Patel’s straight deliveries that skidded straight instead of turning. “When you are playing on a pitch like that, you need to have an intent and look to score runs as well. You can’t just keep blocking. As you saw that odd ball might just turn and odd ball might just skid on to stumps, when you play for turn,” Rohit said during the virtual conference after the end of the match.
Rohit Sharma felt that during his stint of 66 runs he was a step or two ahead of England bowlers. “You just need to be slightly ahead at times and try and find ways to score runs. My intent was not just to survive but try and score runs as well, while respecting the good balls. That’s all I tried to do,” said Rohit.
“The pitch was an interesting one and odd ball was just coming in and some were taking turn. On a track like this, you need to have a clear mindset, which I think I did until I played that sweep shot.”
He felt that Axar’s strategy of attacking the stumps helped team India to grab England’s wickets quickly. “Axar was simply brilliant,” Rohit said, lauding the left-arm spinner who had big shoes to fill, replacing Ravindra Jadeja.
“Coming out from nowhere and performing is never easy. He was out injured, slightly down, came back and bowled very well in Chennai. He understands conditions well and how to vary the pace and what lines to bowl.”
Coming wider off the crease was another effective strategy used by Axar. “He made the batter play most balls which is important as you never know which one is going to turn. It all goes to his skill-sets. He bowls little wider off the crease and slightly slinging action makes it very difficult for batsman to either leave or play,” said Rohit.