Play yourself in, leave balls outside the off-stump, show patience, give respect to the opposition bowlers, try to negate the new ball, have defensive technique – are some of the attributes which help you in building a perfect Test hundred.
Rohit Sharma showed all that in his knock of 127 runs off 256 balls in the second innings of the Oval Test against England.
Former Indian great batsman Sunil Gavaskar, who himself scored an iconic 221 at The Oval, was all impressed by the Indian opener. Gavaskar stated that’s exactly how a Test match innings should be built and lauded Rohit’s approach as he showed all the patience at the crease.
Rohit has been getting off to starts in the ongoing series against England but he wasn’t able to convert them into substantial scores. However, Rohit didn’t let the opportunity slip when he once again got off to a good start in the second innings of the Oval Test.
The right-hander was patient in his approach as he played out the difficult spells from the England bowlers and played at the top of his game.
Gavaskar said, while praising Rohit Sharma on Sony Sports Network: “Incredible knock. Very, very impressive, for the simple reason that the way he was covering the swing when the ball was new. Not just here, but even in the earlier matches. The way he was playing very late, the way he had the bat and pad close to each other… not pushing at deliveries. Once he settled down, then all the shots began to flow. But then the most impressive thing is the straightness of his bat when he’s defending. Then of course the use of his feet to get to his Test century.”
Once Rohit got settled after bringing up his fifty, he was a tad more aggressive in his approach. The right-hander was able to find the gaps at regular intervals and played a fantastic knock to put his team in front.
“Once he got to fifty, he opened up. He’s widened the range of his shots. He’s played the V, played the cuts and the sweep shot. That’s exactly how a Test match innings has to be built. That is the biggest challenge of players of his genius. For someone like him or GR Viswanath, or Azharuddin… they all had different options for deliveries. They could play on the on side and the off side, but then to curb that and play what is needed for the occasion is very important and that’s what he’s done today.”
Rohit was at his absolute best and deserves all the credit for showing the resistance, needed to succeed in English conditions. The right-hander has grown in confidence and looks a different batsman altogether in Test matches.