Having displayed strong defensive skills and great patience against the England new-ball bowlers, Rohit Sharma looked set for a big score on Day 2 of the first Test against England at Trent Bridge. However, much to the fans’ disappointment as much as his own, it wasn’t to be, yet again.
Much like he did at the World Test Championship final against New Zealand six weeks ago, Rohit Sharma opted to forgo flamboyance for substance against the new ball at Trent Bridge. Alongside KL Rahul, Rohit put on 97 for the first wicket, India’s highest opening partnership in England since Wasim Jaffer and Dinesh Karthik’s stand of 147 at the same venue 14 years ago. However, just at the stroke of lunch, the right-hander went for an instinctive pull-shot off Ollie Robinson, only to find Sam Curran at long-leg when on 36.
This wasn’t the first time Rohit failed to convert his start in an overseas Test in the recent past. In the new year’s Test in Sydney, he was dismissed for 26 and 52 respectively - his dismissal in the second innings almost identical to the one at Trent Bridge, Pat Cummins being the bowler then. In the first innings of the following Test, he attempted an adventurous hoick off Nathan Lyon when on 44, skying one towards Mitchell Starc at deep mid-wicket. The dismissal had prompted wide criticism from the cricketing world then, including from the likes of Sunil Gavaskar who had labelled it as “unnecessary' and irresponsible”.
It wasn’t much different in the WTC final either, where he carried his bat for more than 20 overs in both innings (34 and 30), but failed to make it substantial.
On Thursday, having weathered the storm against the quality of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Robinson and Curran under overcast skies, the untimely dismissal clearly frustrated the opener, who smashed his bat in anger as he headed towards the pavilion.