According to India batting coach Vikram Rathour, Australia made Rohit Sharma “work hard” for his 120-run knock, and it was a remarkable effort because it came on a difficult pitch to bat on. This happened after the hosts improved their position in the series-opening match. Going into the third day, India had a 144-run advantage in the first innings after two hundred from Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. “It was a special inning by Rohit and it is a great feeling (to see him score runs). He showed good temperament and it was a very important inning as the surface wasn’t easy to bat on,” Rathour said at the end of the second day’s play.
Since he started opening in Test matches, Rohit has played some great knocks but the three hundred that stand out include his epic 161 on a Chepauk snake pit, a ton at the Oval, and Friday’s knock on a low, slow turner against Australia. “That is the quality of his batting,” Rathour said. “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,” the former Test opener said.
Despite the fact that India won the match by 95 runs in the last session thanks to an 81-run partnership between Axar (batting 52) and Jadeja (batting 66), Rathour refrained from sounding smug about the situation. “I don’t think so. You can’t say till the last ball is bowled,” he said cautiously. When questioned if Axar’s batting ability played a role in his selection ahead of Kuldeep, Rathour categorically denied it. “He (Axar) has been exceptional with the ball so that was not even a consideration. Yes, (his) batting is a bonus,” he added.