Nagpur : India batting coach Vikram Rathour on Friday credited skipper Rohit Sharma’s adaptability and great temperament for scoring a majestic hundred on a tough pitch against a potent Australian attack, and putting the hosts on top in the first Test here.
Rohit batted for 345 minutes on a slow, low Turner against a quality attack that included bowlers like Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins to score a brilliant 120.
Rohit’s century and an 81-run stand for the eighth wicket between Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel helped India reach 321/7 at stumps and gain a 144-run first innings lead against Australia.
Rohit’s century on Friday was quite different from some of his earlier efforts after he started opening the innings — like the 161 on a snake pit at Chepauk or his hundred on a seaming wicket at The Oval in September 2021.
The batting coach said it was Rohit’s class and ability to adapt to conditions and change his batting style which helped him succeed in Nagpur. The star opener had started quite aggressive on Thursday, racing to his fifty off 66 deliveries.
He scored his second fifty off 105 balls. “I think that’s the quality he has as a batter. He adapts really well. He’s somebody who can change his game. You know we’ve seen how he was in India and how he scored his runs in the series that he started playing as an opener against South Africa.
Then we traveled to England. He played completely differently on the surfaces which required you to play tight. And today, it wasn’t an easy wicket. He was made to work hard.
Normally he takes charge after scoring the initial run. He really likes to push (the rate of scoring),” Rathour said in the post-play press conference on Friday.
Asked whether by scoring 95 runs in the final session of the day, has India batted Australia out of the match, Rathour said for him the match ends only when the last ball is bowled.
‘I would say that till the last ball is not bowled, the game is on. But yeah, it was a good session. I think we are really privileged to have three reality quality players. So, looking back, it’s a great position to be in as a team.
We are really lucky, I think fortunate to have all three,” said Rathour. Asked whether Axar Patel’s ability to bat was considered while picking him ahead of Kuldeep Yadav, Rathour said “You should have some outstanding record in India as a bowler (to get selected), so I don’t think that is even a consideration.
His batting of course is a bonus.. It’s great that he can bat as well as he can, but as a bowler I think he’s got 40 plus wickets in six, six or seven games.”
Rathour was a bit defensive talking about the dry patch KL Rahul is going through but said the fact that the opener has scored a century and couple of fifties in his last 19 innings is good enough to get a few more chances.
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