Australia made Rohit Sharma “work hard” for his 120-run knock and it was a special effort since it came on a track that wasnt easy to bat on, India batting coach Vikram Rathour said after the hosts strengthened their position in the series-opener.
Rohits hundred and half-centuries from Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel has given India a first innings lead of 144, going into the third day.
“It was a special innings by Rohit and it is a great feeling (to see him score runs). He showed good temperament and it was very important innings as the surface wasnt easy to bat on,” Rathour said at the end of the second days play.
Since he started opening in Test matches, Rohit has played some great knocks but the three hundreds that stand out include his epic 161 on a Chepauk snake pit, a ton at the Oval and Fridays knock on a low, slow turner against Australia.
“That is the quality of his batting,” Rathour said.
“He has got runs on seaming tracks in England. But if we talk about this particular innings, he was made to work hard for his runs. Normally, with Rohit when he scores his first few runs, he then pushes the score. But here he had to work hard,” the former Test opener said.
India scored 95 runs in the final session, courtesy a 81-run stand between Axar (52 batting) and Jadeja (66 batting) but Rathour didnt want to sound complacent about the fact that the match is as good as in Indias pocket.
“I dont think so. You cant say till the last ball is bowled,” he said cautiously.
When asked if Axars batting came into consideration when he was picked ahead of Kuldeep, Rathour denied emphatically.
“He (Axar) has been exceptional with the ball so that was not even a consideration. Yes, (his) batting is a bonus,” he added.
Rahul has two hundreds in last 10 Tests ======================== Rathour went on the defensive the moment the question about KL Rahuls form cropped up.
Was he lucky to be considered in the playing XI despite his poor run of form, Rathour replied: “I wont be able to comment on that.” “But he (Rahul) has scored two hundreds in his last 10 Tests one in England and other in South Africa and also has a couple of fifties. So we are not yet there.” For the record, the century in England came in August, 2021 and the one in South Africa in January, 2022. Rahul has had run of poor scores with one 50-plus knock in his last nine innings and rest of scores were all below 25.
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