Star Indian batsman Rohit Sharma has admitted he knew opening was the last opportunity for him to succeed in Test cricket. He confessed this after scoring his first overseas century in Test cricket during the fourth Test against England at The Oval.
India were in troubling watering waters after conceding a lead of 99 runs at the halfway mark in the fourth Test. Rohit Sharma batted beautifully and showed a lot of composure. He reached to his first Test hundred away from home and put India in control.
After scoring 127, he admitted opening in Test cricket was the last opportunity for him to succeed in Test cricket.
“In the back of my mind, I knew this was the last chance for me (Tests), trying another position in the batting order. When the offer came to me to open the batting, I was very much aware of it because the talks were happening within the management at some stage,” Rohit said after his Oval hundred.
“It was my feeling. I thought getting the opportunity in 2019 was my last chance. I don’t know what the team management thought. The team management told me ‘you’ll have a long run when you open the batting’. But I wanted to think that this was it. I wanted to make good use of the opportunity. I had to do whatever it takes for that.
“Mentally, I was prepared for it and was prepared to take that challenge and see how I can do well up the order. I batted in the middle order before, things didn’t turn out the way I wanted to. I knew this was going to be my last opportunity, trying whatever the management is thinking.
“When you are playing a sport, you have to take those risks and chances. I would say that I was very much ready for it. It didn’t come to me as a surprise. If I wouldn’t have succeeded, anything could have happened.”
Rohit made his Test debut back in 2013 and scored two centuries in his first two games. But his inconsistent form kept him out from the Test squad. He was drafted in to open in the Test cricket in 2019 against South Africa at home and tasted success instantly. However, his latest knock is the one that has shut all the doubts over his ability to play Test cricket.
“One-day cricket and Test cricket, there is a massive difference between the two. You need to bring in a lot of stuff to your game, most importantly, discipline. That is something that I focussed a lot on off the field. Discipline is something that I wanted to bring into my batting when I was at the nets, whether it was leaving the balls or playing a solid defense,” he said.
“The most pleasing thing is I was able to play 250 balls. If you look at all the Test matches we have played, I have played nearly 100 balls in every innings. That was my goal.
“I wanted to see how I can stay on the pitch as long as possible because you do know things become easier when you spend time in the middle. Spending time in the middle was the biggest takeaway for me,” he further added.
India were 270/3 at the stumps of day three with Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja batting in the middle. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul scored 83 runs for the first wicket before Cheteshwart Pujara and Rohit partnered for 153 runs.