Rohit Sharma has recorded seven tons in his 36-match Test career hitherto, and while he denied picking his favourite amongst them, the opener was effusive in mentioning that his ton in the second Test match of the ongoing series against England in Chennai was ‘very satisfying’.
Rohit Sharma batted with alacrity in the first innings and despite losing three wickets – including that of Virat Kohli – in the first session, India posted 106 runs of which 80 were from Rohit’s bat.
He completed his century from 130 balls and went on score 161 runs – out of India’s 329 – off 231 balls. After losing the first Test, it was an innings of great importance for India as it set up the match with a big first-innings total on a difficult batting surface.
“I have mentioned earlier as well that I would not rate any of my knocks or put one ahead of another. Every knock you play comes under different circumstances and situations. All these 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,” Rohit Sharma said in a virtual media interaction.
I knew sweeping would be a good option: Rohit Sharma
Speaking about the pitch, Rohit Sharma stated that there was a visible turn right from the first session, and hence, he deployed the sweep shot as it was a safer option with two fielders back on the boundary line on the leg side and no one in the catching area on the leg side.
Ravichandran Ashwin as well, in the second innings, came out swinging for the sweep shots – he connected plenty to notch up his 5th Test ton in addition to the five-wicket haul in the first innings.
“Once I realized that the ball started to turn, there was kind of a little bit of rough outside the off-stump for the off-spinner. I realized 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 important and I knew he was bowling outside the off-stump in 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, and I went ahead with that,” Rohit Sharma explained.
The third Test match, which is a day-night contest, begins on March 24 in Ahmedabad. India needs to win the series by a 2-1 or better scoreline to qualify for the World Test Championship final to face New Zealand.
England needs to win both the remaining matches while Australia will hope for a series draw or England win by no more than 2-1 margin for the same objective.