'All I was trying to do was to look for ways to score runs. My intent was not to survive, my intent was to score runs while respecting the good balls. That's all I tried to do,' says opener.
After registering an emphatic 10-wicket win over England in the third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium, opener Rohit Sharma on Thursday said that most batsmen from both teams got out on straight balls and it was not a case of pitch misbehaving a lot.
Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, India registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test to go 2-1 up in the four-match series. In the end, English skipper Joe Root winning the toss and batting first meant nothing as the visitors were completely outplayed in the game.
India was bundled out for 145 in the first innings and Rohit Sharma was the top-scorer for the hosts as he played a knock of 66 runs with the help of 11 fours.
"To be honest, I did not do anything different, when you are playing on a pitch like that, you need to have intent and you need to look to score runs. You just cannot keep blocking. The oddball might turn, the oddball might just skid on the stumps if you play for the turn. It is important to keep that intent and try to use your feet and try to do as many things as possible to try and stay ahead of the bowlers. You just need to be slightly ahead of the bowlers at times and it is about finding ways to score runs," said Rohit during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
"All I was trying to do was to look for ways to score runs. My intent was not to survive, my intent was to score runs while respecting the good balls. That's all I tried to do. The pitch was interesting, the oddball was coming in and some were turning. When you bat on a wicket like this, you need to have a clear mindset. Pitch didn't do anything, honestly speaking, if I can recollect, most of the batsmen got out on straighter deliveries, we also as a batting unit, made a lot of mistakes while batting. We also did not bat well in the first innings, the pitch did not have demons, there is nothing like that," he added.
Further elaborating on his point, Rohit said: "It was a nice pitch to bat on, once you are in, you can score runs as you saw. You just need to apply yourself and keep concentrating in order to score runs. If you look at the Chennai Test match, the second Test, it was turning hell of a lot than it did here. A lot of the batters got runs there in the second Test, in this Test, we need to be honest to ourselves and accept that we did not bat well."
"In Chennai, it had a lot more to offer than this, we batted well on that wicket. We learn from our mistakes, guys applied themselves, Ashwin got 100 in the second innings of the second Test, Ajinkya got 50, Virat got 60-odd. If you apply yourselves, you can score runs. We accept as a batting unit, that we did not bat as well we would have liked to in this Test. We just need to take it to ourselves and we need to get back to the drawing board," he added.
Chasing 49 for a win, India raced home with 10 wickets in the bag as Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (15) looked in a hurry to finish proceedings. Rohit finished it off in style by sending Root into the mid-wicket stands. The win has taken India one step closer to the final of the World Test Championship.