Rohit Sharma smashed a stunning century on day two of the opening Test against Australia in Nagpur but India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour said the opener had to “work hard” on a surface that was keeping a bit low and also offering enough turn to the spinners.
The Indian captain scored 120 off 212 deliveries and propelled his team to a commanding position. The hosts are currently 321/7, leading by 144 runs, with Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel still out there in the middle.
Rohit has always had a terrific record at home but has transformed himself into a different beast ever since being promoted as an opener. That epic knock of 161 on a Chepauk snake pit in 2021 will be remembered for years to come, while we all know how well he batted when India toured England in the same year.
“It was a special innings by Rohit and it is a great feeling (to see him score runs). He showed good temperament and it was a very important innings as the surface wasn’t easy to bat on,” Rathour said at the end of the second day’s play.
“That is the quality of his batting. He has got runs on seaming tracks in England. But if we talk about this particular innings, he was made to work hard for his runs. Normally, with Rohit when he scores his first few runs, he then pushes the score. But here he had to work hard.”
India were 229/6 when Rohit perished but Jadeja and Axar made sure Australia didn’t get a chance to make a comeback in the final session. Both batters have already gone past the 50-run mark and put on 81* runs for the eighth wicket.
India now have a match-winning lead but Rathour doesn’t want them to get complacent. However, he also didn’t shy away from heaping heavy praise on Axar. “I don’t think so. You can’t say till the last ball is bowled. He (Axar) has been exceptional with the ball so that was not even a consideration. Yes, (his) batting is a bonus.
KL Rahul hasn’t been in great form of late and was dismissed for just 20 on day one. The right-hander has just one 50-plus score in his last nine innings. "I won't be able to comment on that," Rathour said when he was asked whether Rahul is lucky to be considered in the Indian playing XI.
"To be fair to KL, he (Rahul) has scored two hundreds in his last 10 Tests – one in England and other in South Africa and also has a couple of fifties. So yeah, I don't think we are there."