Rohit Sharma, who on Day 2 failed to convert yet another start, claimed that it was disappointing to not make a big score but insisted that he made the right decision in trying to be aggressive. Rohit claimed that with the English bowlers showing great discipline, the batters needed to be proactive.
Thursday turned out to be yet another ‘what could have been’ knock for Rohit Sharma the opener away from home as for the fourth away Test running, the 34-year-old threw his wicket away after putting in a hard shift and seeing off the new ball barrage. In testing conditions, Rohit showed infrangible patience to help India post their highest opening stand in England in over a decade, but right on the stroke of lunch, the opener undid all the good work with a loose shot.
After leaving and defending for 106 balls to leave England frustrated, Rohit, on ball number 107, hooked an innocuous Ollie Robinson short ball straight to the throat of deep fine leg. For India the dismissal triggered a collapse, but for Rohit it turned out to be yet another wasted start, with the dismissal meaning that he got dismissed between 25 and 55 six times in 7 innings as an opener away from home, including in each of the last three innings.
Unsurprisingly criticism came the 34-year-old’s way after the dismissal, but speaking in the press conference post Day 2, Rohit defended his shot selection, and claimed that it was imperative for him and Rahul to stay positive. Rohit admitted that he was disappointed with the dismissal, but the veteran batsman said that India had no option but to take the odd chance due to the discipline with which the English seamers were bowling.
“Like you said it is my shot, so I have to play shots, as we saw in the first hour of play, we did not get any loose balls and their bowlers were quite disciplined,” Rohit said at the post-day press conference after the second day's play.
“So, you have to take your odd chances when the ball is there, you got to punish them. Of course, you know, when it's around the time of close of play, you feel disappointed and that is what I am feeling about it (the dismissal).
"But you got to be ready to play your shots as well, because their bowlers are so disciplined, you hardly get anything. So, you got to put the balls which are your shots and in your area you got to put that ball away and that is what me and KL (Rahul), when we were batting, we were on that thought process.”
Rohit’s mistimed hook was gobbled up by Sam Curran at fine leg, but the opener felt that, on another day, the ball could easily have gone either side of the fielder and raced to the boundary. Rohit revealed that he and Rahul had spoken about punishing bad balls, and asserted that he was only disappointed with the execution, not the idea.
“If feel like taking a couple of shots on, we are not going to shy away from that, we will play those shots. While doing that if you get out; I mean yes you feel disappointed, but you know there is very thin line between getting out like that and that same delivery or same ball, if it… the catch was slightly away or five yards left and right of the fielder, it could have been either way as well."
Rohit got out right on the stroke of lunch (his dismissal, in fact, turned out to be the last ball before lunch) but the 34-year-old stressed that he had no regrets in taking the shot on, eventhough it was a dangerous move given India were only a few deliveries away from heading into the break unscathed.
“You got to think positive and that's what my mindset was. I know it was around lunch time but if I see the ball in my area, I have to play the shots,” Rohit said.