India's centurion on day one of the second Test in Chennai, Rohit Sharma stated that on pitches like today the intent has to be up there. He also added that the team trained extensively on how to use feet more and play sweeps as there was need to be more proactive on such kind of tracks.
India's under-fire opener Rohit Sharma played one life-time of a knock to score 161 on a turner on day one of the second Test at Chepauk amid the return of crowd as India ended the day on 300/6. There was plenty of assistance for spinners as the ball was exploding a lot of times after hitting the surface which made it a tricky surface to bat. But the Indian opener batted in his own way as he took the attack to the English bowlers especially pacers against whom he scored at a great rate.
He didn't even leave spinners as he attacked them when needed while he played with patience as and when the situation required. At the end of the day, the right-hander stated that he was just playing the ball on 'merit' and also admitted that there is a need for 'intent' on such wickets while being practice.
“I was just playing to the merit of the ball, I didn’t play many cross-batted shots. You have to keep your intent up there, you have to be more proactive every delivery. I’m not going to rate any of my knocks, every one of it comes under different circumstances. I’m not a person to rate any of my knocks. I’m happy with the fact that I could help the team get to a respectable position. It was important for us to bat as deep and as long as possible,” Rohit stated in the press conference at the close of day one.
One of the hallmarks of Rohit's knock was how well he used his feet against the slower bowlers and that is something that the team trained extensively, revealed India's white-ball vice-captain.
"Yeah look, we knew about these conditions and the pitch. We were aware that it was going to turn, we trained accordingly to the match situation. So basically, using your feet more often and sweeping was what we trained for. We have to be more proactive than reactive on these pitches. It was important to be on the top of the bowler in these pitches. Also, it is crucial to understand how the ball is turning, the bounce and everything. That was my decision making going into a shot. The preparation really helped me in terms of going out and playing my shot.”
The 32-year-old also added that he was willing to wait for the ball when the left-arm spinner Jack Leach was bowling, who was one of England's pick of the bowlers besides asserting that it was a knock where he wanted to consciously be more proactive as being diffident could have proven costly.
“The first part of your question, it is satisfying to get some runs on board. Talking about my plans, it was important to be proactive, with the ball turning or keeping low. You had to make sure that it was never too late. You can’t be tentative about your shot selection. What helped me was the preparation I had before the game. All I wanted to focus was to get these things right, also look at the line that they are bowling."
"There is a slight chance that you might get LBW. Otherwise, there isn’t much chance for the bowler to get your wicket. Those were the ideas and the thought. When Leach was bowling, it was important to wait till the ball came. We rotated the strike well as well.”