Ajinkya Rahane has always made himself counted when the team has been in testing situation which is a testimony to his class as a batsman, feels second Test centurion Rohit Sharma.
Rohit and vice-captain Rahane added 162 runs for the fourth wickets as India scored 300 for 6 at stumps on the first day of the second Test against England.
"Ajinkya, he is one of our top players. He has done extremely well and played some crucial knocks (over the years). He has time and again shown that when the team needs a batsman to stand up, he has done that many times," Rohit was all praise for his fellow Mumbaikar, who scored 67 on the day.
No doubt their stand was crucial in the context of the match and Rohit acknowledged that.
"Three wickets had fell before lunch and at the time he came to bat, it was crucial for us to build a partnership. We have seen many times, when the team need runs, he (Rahane) has shown his batsmanship and made runs in difficult times," added Rohit.
Rohit was slightly annoyed that there were even talks about Rahane's form since he didn't get runs in seven successive innings.
"I don't understand why these talks take place? But, anyway, his knock was very important for the team at that point and our partnership was also necessary for the team and we took the team to a comfortable position till tea, because I believe 350 will be a good score on this wicket," added Rohit.
Rohit expects Rishabh Pant and Axar Patel to bat as long as possible.
"We still have four wickets left and we hope that the batsmen who are currently batting (Rishabh) Pant and Axar (Patel), make as many runs because already the rough patches have been created."
Rohit also said that he also suggested Rahane to play sweep shots.
"We were constantly chatting about it, when we were playing seamers, Ajju was telling me he was standing outside the crease and I can also stand outside the crease," he said.
"When we were playing spinners, I was sweeping them from the rough, so I told him. Because the two-three balls that he played went into the air, then I told him sweep will be a better option, so he might as well play that."
"It is percentage shot on that pitch and the bowler bowling that line…," he explained.
According to Rohit, the chats with Rahane during their partnership was equally important.
"So, we spoke a lot between us and so that partnership which seemed long. It is one of the reasons because we were chatting constantly and making sure that what we need to do as a batter in between was important, so that chat was necessary for us. We have played a lot together, we understand each others batting and it helped us," added Rohit.
Rohit also stressed that he is interested in the process and does not bother about what has happened in the past.
"I try to stay in the moment because what has happened, what will happen, we cannot control, what is happening in present, we need to think about that."
"I am not interested in what has happened, what will happen, I am interested in the process, current situation and I try and stay in that scenario," he added.