'Got to put away balls in your area,' Rohit Sharma defends his shot selection

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safari
06 Aug 2021 | 03:55 AM
authorcricket.com staff

'Got to put away balls in your area,' Rohit Sharma defends his shot selection

The India opener was well set before he pulled a ball straight to the fielder at the stroke of lunch on Day Two

India opener Rohit Sharma was well set before he played a short ball from Ollie Robinson straight down the throat of Sam Curran aat fine leg. His dismissal led to a collapse as India find themselves reduced to 125 for 4 from 97 for no loss.

Rohit, however, defended the shot and said that he will continue to play such strokes if the ball is in his area. "I have to play shots, as we saw in the first hour of play, we did not get any loose balls and their bowlers were quite disciplined," Rohit said at the post-day press conference after the second day's play, which was called off early due to rain.

"So, you have to take your odd chances when the ball is there, you got to punish them. Of course, you know, when it's around the time of close of play, you feel disappointed and that is what I am feeling about it (the dismissal)," he added.

England fast bowler James Anderson got the hosts back in the game, getting the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and the big scalp of Virat Koli off back-to-back deliveries. India still trail by 58 runs after England were bowled out for 183 in their first innings.  "You got to be ready to play your shots as well, because their bowlers are so disciplined, you hardly get anything. So, you got to put the balls which are your shots and in your area you got to put that ball away and that is what me and KL (Rahul) when we were batting, we were on that thought process," Rohit said.

"I feel like taking a couple of shots on, we are not going to shy away from that, we will play those shots. While doing that if you get out; I mean yes you feel disappointed, but you know there is a very thin line between getting out like that and that same delivery or same ball if the catch was slightly away or five yards left and right of the fielder, it could have been either way as well," he further added.

The openers shared a 97-run stand before the mini-collapse happened. "You got to think positive and that's what my mindset was. I know it was around lunch time but if I see the ball in my area, I have to play the shots," Rohit, who scored a patient 107-ball 36, said.

Rohit has looked assured when he has defended or left that ball alone. He revealed he has made some technical changes in his batting specifically for the Engish conditions.

"Yes, you got to change a fair bit and something that I have changed as well, when the ball is moving, when the ball is doing a bit, there are a lot of technical aspects of your game that you need to bring in as an opener," Rohit had said during the post-day press conference last night after the second's play in the opening Test against England.

"Playing in these conditions is never easy, but you know you always challenge yourself as a batter to go out and perform when the conditions are challenging, that is something I am trying to do."

"I have made some changes in my technique as well. I am not trying to move too much in the crease, trying to stay as still as possible keeping the bat closer to the body," he added.

Rohit said all such things can add value to his game. "All those things that can add value to your game. I am pretty happy with the way I have handled the new ball, the first spell of the new bowlers. But of course in conditions like this, you are never set, never in, you just got to treat every ball as new ball," he said.

"So you just got to keep telling yourself that every ball is different and you just got to make sure that, you think that way all the time till the time you are in."

(With inputs from PTI)

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