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

  • Pacemen must target Smith's blind spot - Misbah Pacemen must target Smith's blind spot - Misbah

    Misbah-ul-Haq says Pakistan's pace attack must hit Steve Smith's "blind spot" if they are to prevent Australia's "batting genius" from piling on the runs in the two-match Test series.

    Smith averaged an astonishing 110.57 in a drawn Ashes series in England on his return to the Test stage after serving a one-year ban for his part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

    The former captain will be the prized scalp for Pakistan when they attempt to secure a first series win in Australia in the longest format.

    Misbah wants to see his formidable fast bowlers frustrate the top-ranked Test batsman in the world when the series gets under way at the Gabba on Thursday.

    The Pakistan head coach said: "As far as Steve Smith goes, there's a blind spot for every top batsman in the world; as a bowler you're always interested in pitching the ball there.

    "It's important that we bowl with consistency there. Our bowlers are executing the plans very well right now, and hopefully we'll be able to build that kind of a pressure and stay disciplined, especially early in the innings.

    "No matter how good a batsman is batting, it's about consistency and bowling the maximum balls in those areas that build pressure and the batsman respects you, and you force him to make a mistake.

    "All the batsmen you talk to, any batsman in the world, that's the area where you have to defend a ball, and that is a six-to-eight-metre spot where you have to play the top of off stump.

    "That's the area from where if it's happening then that creates a great chance. Even if it's not happening, you have less chances to do anything with the ball.

    "It's about consistency, and top players in the world, if you miss those areas, that special length and line, then they are good enough to just cash in on that.

    "You have to be very, very disciplined, just keep the ball there, and if it's happening you are already in the game."

    The former Pakistan captain added:  "The kind of form he is in, there's no doubt Steve Smith is a batting genius. We will try our best to execute our plans and dismiss him."

     

    Key Opta facts

    - Pakistan have lost their last two multi-game bilateral Test series, they have not lost more consecutive series in the format since losing all three they competed in across 2007.

    - Pat Cummins' tally of 87 Test wickets is more than any other bowler has taken since the start of 2018.

    -  Australia are undefeated in their last 30 Tests at the Gabba - winning 23 of those matches. Their last defeat at the Brisbane venue was against West Indies in 1988.

  • Can the West Indies Women avert a whitewash at the bats of their Indian rivals? Can the West Indies Women avert a whitewash at the bats of their Indian rivals?
  • Former Aussie captain believes in Pooran talent despite ‘slip up’ Former Aussie captain believes in Pooran talent despite ‘slip up’

    A Nicholas Pooran-less West Indies did not have the power to deal with Afghanistan over the course of a three-match T20I series, the wicketkeeper/batsman missing out while he serves a four-match ban over ball tampering.

    Steve Smith, who had been banned for a year for the part he played in a ball-tampering scandal, lost his captaincy of Australia, and is only months back with the side.

    Pooran was only banned for four games but Smith doesn’t feel the talented middle-order batsman should be punished anymore harshly.

    "Everyone is different, every board is different, and the way they deal with certain issues. For me, I copped it on the chin... it is what it is,” he said.

    Smith expects a better Pooran to come out of the embarrassment of being caught cheating.

    “I know Nicholas, I've played a bit of cricket with him and he's a talented player and someone with a bright future," Smith said.

    "I think he'll learn from his mistake and move past it,” he said.

    I played with him in the Caribbean league at Barbados. I think he's going to be an exceptional player in white-ball cricket."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.