Rohit reflects on 'most challenging' innings after stunning double century for India

By Sports Desk October 20, 2019

Rohit Sharma labelled his maiden Test double century as "probably the most challenging" innings he has played.

India took complete control of the third and final Test against South Africa on day two in Ranchi, with Rohit scoring 212 from 225 deliveries to help the hosts to 497-9 declared, the Proteas reaching stumps on 9-2 in reply.

Rohit, who had three double hundreds in ODIs but never in the five-day format, faced a nervy wait after lunch was called while he was on 199.

The 32-year-old, who has excelled at the top of the order having endured a stop-start Test career to date, then saw out a maiden over upon resumption before finally getting over the line with an excellent pull for six off Lungi Ngidi. 

Asked about his wait, Rohit said: "That's the nature of the game. You can't do anything about it. I wouldn't say it's frustrating. It's just the laws of the game. 

"The time [a session] has to finish, it has to finish on that time.

"From my side, I wasn't thinking about that at all. Because I knew the time will come and whenever it's supposed to happen, it will happen. I was just trying to be positive, think positive at that particular time. 

"I know it can be frustrating at times but there's nothing you can do about it. I just went back happy [at lunch], you know, 199 not out, I'd take that any day."

Rohit now has six centuries in Test cricket but conceded this was the toughest innings he has played.

"I haven't played much, I have played only 30 Test matches," he added. 

"Yes, in terms of what was thrown at me in this particular Test match, I would definitely say that it was probably the most challenging one."

India had stumbled to 39-3 on day one before Rohit was joined by Ajinkya Rahane, with the duo putting on an outstanding fourth-wicket stand of 267.

"We've seen Ajinkya for so many years, the way his Test career has progressed, and whenever the team has been in a difficult situation, he's come and rescued us," Rohit said. 

"This isn't something he's done just once or twice, he's done it in many innings. This shows how strong he is, mentally, and how much hunger he has, to be able to steer the team out of bad situations.

"We've seen it outside India, we've seen it in India as well, so Ajinkya's Test graph, it's climbing one step at a time, and there can't be anything better for the team, because if your middle order is strong, whatever situation comes, you're confident that one guy will always put his hand up and take the team forward."

Related items

  • Da Silva stars on third day, but West Indies bowlers dominate again Da Silva stars on third day, but West Indies bowlers dominate again

    Heading into the final day of their four-day intra-squad match at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester, the West Indies have continued to find the going tough with the bat, with the exception of wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua Da Silva.

    Da Silva scored an unbeaten 133 as Jason Holder’s XI recovered from 120-5 yesterday to post 272 against the bowling of Peter McSween, 3-28, and Chemar Holder, 2-35.

    There was also a wicket apiece for Oshane Thomas, 1-24, Keon Harding, 1-69, Markino Mindley, 1-32, Anderson Phillip, 1-16, and Rahkeem Cornwall, 1-32.

    Da Silva formed good partnerships with Raymon Reifer, who scored 22, and Alzarri Joseph, who scored 38. Yesterday, only Sunil Ambris, with 25 managed a score in the double digits.

    In fact, the next best scorer for Holder’s XI, who are competing against a team led by his vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite, was the extras column, with 43 runs going a-begging.

    In reply, Brathwaite’s XI have found things just as difficult, with Kyle Mayers, on 43, and Mindley on nine, the batsmen at the crease with the score on 112-7 from just 25 overs.

    Shannon Gabriel has been the pick of the bowlers for Holder’s XI with 3-34.

    Kemar Roach, 1-14, Holder, 1-21, Joseph, 1-17, and Reifer, 1-21, have also got in on the action.

    Earlier, Da Silva, batted for just over six hours, facing 248 deliveries for his tally and smacked 17 boundaries in a mature knock.

    The West Indies are in preparation mode for the #RaisetheBat series against England, with the first match of a three-Test affair slated to begin on July 8 at the Rose Bowl in South Hampton.

    The team will then play in two games at their Old Trafford base on July 16 and 24.

  • The Three Ws chapter comes to a close – Sir Everton Weekes passes The Three Ws chapter comes to a close – Sir Everton Weekes passes

    The last of the three Ws, Sir Everton Weekes has passed.

  • Call for Simmons’ sacking unjustifiable, irresponsible Call for Simmons’ sacking unjustifiable, irresponsible

    President of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), Conde Riley, is wrong to ask for the immediate sacking of West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons.

    I have great respect for Mr Riley, who has served Barbados and West Indies cricket admirably for more than 20 years, but his utterances this week were, in a word, irresponsible.

    Mr Riley’s comments have created an issue where there should be none.

    Here are the facts as I understand them.

    Simmons had a death in his family and there was a funeral which would, if he were to go, place him at risk of contracting COVID-19 because he is now outside of the bio-secure controls at Old Trafford, Manchester where the West Indies cricket team is staying ahead of a three-Test series against England.

    Once outside of the bubble, Simmons (and the coach must have been fully aware of this, put himself at the risk of adding to the 313, 483 cases of Coronavirus in the United Kingdom.

    The CWI and the England and Wales Cricket Board had come up with a strategy for ensuring the safety of cricketers in this series, inclusive of protocols for when somebody has to leave the bio-secure environment.

    Those protocols satisfied both parties that those inside the environment would be kept safe from those who come into it from outside.

    Simmons would now be treated like somebody coming from outside and would have to self-isolate and go through testing before being re-integrated with those who had remained inside the bubble.

    That being said, once all protocols are observed, there would be no risk to the players and/or staff, even if Simmons contracts COVID-19. So far, he has tested negative on two occasions.

    The BCA president pointed out that he had received a number of phone calls from concerned parents and members of the BCA with concerns about the safety of the players, given Simmons’ actions.

    However, as a member of the CWI board, Riley should have known that the protocols, put in place before the players left the Caribbean, would have meant no added risk because of Simmons’ exit and subsequent return. There should never have been this sort of knee-jerk reaction.

    As a member of the CWI board, it should have been incumbent on Mr Riley to assure those calling, that the maintenance of the players’ safety had not been compromised.

    Instead, Mr Riley fuelled an unjustified panic regarding the situation and ‘put pen to paper’ in an email to the board, that clearly spoke to an uninformed position.

    "I just heard on the radio that our head coach Mr Phil Simmons attended a funeral recently and is now being quarantined as a result. If this is true, I am calling for his immediate removal as head coach,” read the email.

    Simmons wasn’t being ‘quarantined as a result’. That was part of the protocol agreed to before he left. And the president of the BCA should never ben using language like “if this is true.” Why wouldn’t you get all the facts before penning such a potentially damaging missive?

    Mr Riley went on to call Simmons’ behaviour “inconsiderate and reckless” but I submit that it was carefully planned and not reckless at all. There was no danger to anyone but Simmons himself.

    Cricket West Indies had made a public statement about Simmons’ activities and Riley’s email runs in stark contrast to that.

    "The entire process of his exit and re-entry to the bio-secure location was approved and managed by the medical teams of the CWI and the ECB and strictly followed protocols set up prior to the tour which addressed such scenarios," read the CWI statement.

    How could Mr Riley and the CWI be so divergent in their views?

    Mr Riley also suggested that the CWI be pro-active in anticipation of backlash from the English press.

    No such backlash has come.

    In fact, the only question that has come from the English press about Simmons’ actions, have had nothing to do with player safety.

    Alzarri Joseph was asked if Simmons’ self-isolation would impact the ongoing practice game the West Indies are now playing in preparation for the first Test on July 8.

    Joseph’s response was instructive.

    According to the young fast bowler, the team of coaches was prepared for Simmons’ absence and everybody, including the players, already know what their jobs are.

    Mr Riley should also know what his job is, and it isn’t to suggest that a coach be fired.

    Now let’s hope the West Indies can put this behind them and get back to the business of retaining the Wisden Trophy at the end of #RaisetheBat series.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.