Stand by my shot: Rohit Sharma
India would have been in a much better frame of mind going into Day III of this final Test had Rohit Sharma still been out there in the middle. Trying to launch Nathan Lyon over deep square leg and long on, Rohit, who looked in great touch, holed out in the deep, much against the run of play.
The vice-captain, though, doesn’t regret playing that shot, adding there wouldn’t be any change in his approach either. “It’s something I always like to do and put pressure on bowlers,” Rohit said later.
“Lyon is a smart bowler and he bowled into me, which made it difficult for me to get some elevation. It’s a shot that I have played well in the past and something that I back myself to play, and that’s the kind of role I play in this team.
“It looks bad when it results in a dismissal, but I don’t think too much as my focus is to make sure that once I am in, I make it count. Having said that, there’s a process I like to follow which is, once I’m in, I want to keep that pressure on the bowling unit.
“Sometimes you get out and sometimes it goes over the ropes... But as I said, those are my shots and I’ll keep playing them,” Rohit asserted.
Rohit lauded the inexperienced bowling attack that did considerably well to restrict Australia to under 400. Debutants T. Natarajan, Washington Sundar, and Shardul Thakur, who had bowled just 10 balls in his maiden Test (against West Indies in October 2018), scalped three wickets apiece.
“The newcomers have the hunger for success. The ‘A’ tours too must have helped. Guys like Shardul, Navdeep (Saini) and (Mohammed) Siraj have played a lot of ‘A’ team cricket. They know how difficult it can be in Australia, so their understanding of conditions helped them,” he added.
⚫ Rohit Sharma has been dismissed by Nathan Lyon on six occasions, the most by any Test bowler.
⚫ This was only the second occasion when two Indian debutants (T. Natarajan 3/78 & Washington Sundar 3/89) managed three-wicket hauls or more in the same Test innings. The first came against the West Indies (1st innings) in Calcutta in 1948-49
when debutants Mantu Banerjee 4/100 and Ghulam Ahmed 4/94 achieved four-wicket hauls.
⚫ Tim Paine’s fifty on Saturday was the 9th of his Test career and his 4th against India, the most he has made against any Test opponent. It was also his 2nd against India in the ongoing series after his 73n.o. in Adelaide. It is the first time he has managed to make two fifties in the same Test series.
⚫ This was Paine’s 6th 50-plus score as a ’keeper-captain for Australia.
⚫ MS Dhoni (24), Mushfiqur Rahim (10) and Andy Flower (7) are the only ones who have more fifties than Paine as a ’keeper-captain in Tests.