Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra stated that Rohit Sharma played his innings with great restraint and is learning to change his approach in Test cricket.
Rohit scored 59 from 156 balls in the second innings after almost shielding for more than 100 balls in the first innings. After England took a gigantic lead of 354 runs in the first innings, India replied with a brilliant defensive technique.
Rohit and Cheteshwar Pujara aligned for an 82-run stand and interestingly it was the latter who scored the most runs between them. Chopra was impressed with Rohit’s understanding of Test cricket and feels he has changed a lot from being an explosive power-hitter of the white-ball.
“The stage Rohit Sharma is in, he has changed his game a lot and he is now searching when to change gears. Of course, he knows that but he is still trying to find that rhythm and that is where this game is so beautiful. It’s not about Rohit’s skill but he is searching for an understanding of the gears,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
Rohit Sharma once again played an innings of great restraint which could not be converted to a big score: Aakash Chopra
Rohit, who missed his first overseas Test hundred at Lord’s in the last game, was way away from achieving the milestone in Leeds after he was trapped by Ollie Robinson before the wicket, England had to take a review at the very last moment to force the decision to change in their favour.
Chopra said Rohit played a great knock but unfortunately couldn’t score in large numbers.
“When he got out, everything gets levelled here itself. He was struck on the pads once earlier, they reviewed and the ball was going above the stumps. The second time when the ball hit the pad, when Joe Root reviewed, the counter had just ticked down to zero. He was saved by just one second because he was out as the ball was hitting the stumps,” Chopra said.
“Then when he was hit on the pad, it seemed to the naked eye it was going down. But it was shown to be just clipping and he was out. He once again played an innings of great restraint which could not be converted to a big score,” he added.
Rohit Sharma waits for his prey: Aakash Chopra
Rohit has extremely handled the swing movement of James Anderson and Robinson in the early overs with a calm and composed approach. He was criticised for not playing patiently and gifting away his wicket with most of the time trying to play his signature shot- the pull shot.
Chopra feels Rohit sensibly attacked against Moeen Ali and Sam Curran but remained firm on his ground when it came facing the likes of Anderson.
“It is going very interesting for Rohit Sharma. He is playing with so much restraint and waiting for his prey, when Sam Curran or Moeen Ali come. Other than that, he has put the shutter totally down, getting struck on the pad and what not.”
India are 139 runs behind England’s first-innings lead with Pujara (91*) and skipper Virat Kohli (45*) batting on for the visitors.