India opening batsman Rohit Sharma, who played superbly on day one of the second Test, mentioned that he knew about the turning nature of the wicket and was mentally prepared to play this innings.
Rohit hit a vintage 161 studded with 18 fours and two sixes and had a crucial 4th wicket partnership with vice-captain
Ajinkya Rahane who played a fluent innings of 67 .
The right-handed batsman said dominating the bowler was his plan on this turning track in Chennai.
“We knew about how the pitch was prepared. We knew it was going to turn and so we had a good few training sessions before the game began and we trained according to what we were going to expect in the middle,” said Rohit in the virtual press conference on Saturday.
“So basically using your feet a lot more, making sure you sweep the ball and those kinds of things when you play on turning pitches. You got to be proactive. You should be on top of the bowler making sure you are ahead of him was very crucial,” he added.
“So little adjustment based on that and understanding if the ball is turning how big is the turn whether it is bouncing or whether it is keeping low. Those were the things that I was thinking about before playing any shot,” said Rohit.
“So yeah, mentally before the game I was prepared of what I will be facing the ones I get in and I think the preparation really helped in terms of getting out there and playing shots,” he added.
Rohit added that Moeen was varying his lines , one outside off and one on the stumps and he was employing the sweep shots to balls outside off to negate the lbw and was playing straighter, stepping out to balls on the stumps covering the turn .
On Rahane’s innings Rohit said that it’s strange why there are so much discussions on Rahane’s apparent failures as he has scored runs when team required them and today he played a very crucial innings under pressure after three wickets fell early.
Rohit further stated that both him & Rahane were constantly on chat during their partnership, advising each other. Rahane advised him to take stance outside the crease to play pace while he advised Rahane to try the sweep shot more from outside off against the spinners which will reduce lbw chances.
Rohit expressed happiness on the return of crowds in the stadium and stated that it gave an added energy to the proceedings and both teams obviously felt much better after slightly lower intensity in 1st test.
On the state of the game , Rohit mentioned that a good 1st innings score will be important as batting will get more difficult from 3rd day onwards with some rough patches are created on the pitch .
** by Amitava Mukherjee