There were never doubts over Rohit Sharma’s place as a Test opener in home conditions. The talisman had scored more than 500 runs in the series against South Africa in 2019 and then continued his good form in the home series against England.
However, a lot of cricket experts had raised doubts over Rohit’s technique to succeed in the tough overseas conditions.
Rohit got off to starts in both the Test matches against Australia and the same pattern was repeated in the WTC final against New Zealand. The Indian opener continued his good form in the first three Test matches, with 83 his best score. However, he wasn’t able to convert his start into a substantial score, which is very unlike him.
Rohit once again got off to a good start in the second innings of the ongoing Oval Test and this time he was able to convert it to a magnificent hundred. The talisman showed all the patience in the initial stages of his innings and batted out the tough spells against the England bowlers, who have been right on the money.
Rohit completed his eighth Test century, which was his first overseas hundred when he lofted Moeen Ali for a six over long-on. The right-hander from Mumbai has been the best batsman for the team on the tour and he has been able to prove his mettle in overseas conditions.
Earlier Rohit was given his chance in the middle order but he couldn’t grab his opportunity especially in foreign conditions.
“In the back of my mind, I knew this was the last chance for me (Tests), trying another position in the batting order. When the offer came to me to open the batting, I was very much aware of it because the talks were happening within the management at some stage,” Rohit said.
“I batted in the middle order before and things didn’t go as per the way I wanted it to and I knew this was my last opportunity to try out and you know management is thinking whatever I want to try.
“When you are playing a sport, you always have to take those chances, those risks and so I was ready for it and didn’t come to me as a surprise. It would have been my last opportunity if I wouldn’t have succeeded. Anything could have happened,” he added.
Rohit revealed that the think tank had told him he will get a good number of opportunities to play as an opener.
“That (about it being his last opportunity) was my feeling. I don’t know about others because the team management told me I will have a long run. But I wanted to think in a way that this is it. I have to make good use of this opportunity and for that, I have to do whatever it takes,” said Rohit.