Following Rohit Sharma’s cheap dismissal in the second innings at Lord’s, Indian batting coach, Vikram Rathour, has asserted that the Indian opener has to improve his shot selection in Test cricket. Rathour added that Ravindra Jadeja will have to play a major role as a bowler in the fourth innings.
On a day of fluctuating fortunes, Mark Wood assured England of a good start by removing in-form openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma cheaply. The second innings even got worse when Sam Curran claimed Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s wicket when he looked fine with the bat. However, Cheteshwar Pujara (45) and Ajinkya Rahane (61), who had struggled for runs in the series, gave India hope with a century stand for the fourth wicket .
Rohit Sharma looked very promising with his 84 in the first innings, but he failed to replicate the same in the second innings. The Indian opener started off with 2 boundaries and a six but Mark Wood sent him packing when the Indian holed out to Moeen Ali at 21. Indian batting coach, Vikram Rathour opined that Rohit Sharma should be little more selective with his shots.
“There will be analysis, of course every-time they get out, we will be having a talk, what happened and what they were thinking while batting or while they played that shot,” Rathour said at the virtual post-day press conference after the fourth day’s play, reported PTI.
"As far Rohit is concerned, I think he has made it clear that that is the shot which fetches him runs, that is the shot where he gets runs with, so he is going to play those shots and we are backing him to play those shots, only thing he needs to do is to be a little-more selective, with what to play and when to play…"
Virat Kohli was also disappointing in his performance as he failed to build on a good start again. The Indian skipper looked good for his 20 before edging a ball outside off stump to Buttler off Curran’s bowling. Kohli has failed to score a century in the longest format of the game since 2019 and his form appears to be a worrying sight for fans. However, Rathour waved off any concerns and added that it was just Kohli’s lack of concentration that cost him his wicket at Lord’s.
"Kohli, I don't think there was an issue, it was just a lapse in concentration today, where his bat went to the ball, which he shouldn't have played and nothing more, I don't think anything old (is) coming back," the batting coach said.
The Indian batting coach also went on to say that if India set a 200 run mark, the bowlers can bowl confidently to restrict the English batsmen. He also touted Ravindra Jadeja to have a big day with the ball considering his performance in the first innings of the match.
"You are right, this will be a typical fifth-day wicket of a Test match, where the ball will go up and down and is also turning, like we saw. So, again as I said earlier, if we can take the target near 200 runs, then it won't be easy for England," he said.
Like (Ravindra) Jadeja bowled in the first innings, he was accurate, if he gets a turn from there, he can create problems for the batsmen, and our pace attack is bowling well. If the ball stays up and down, like we are seeing when the ball is hard, then, if we can add 30-40 runs more and take 1-2 early England wickets, then there will be pressure on them.”