India openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are both known to play attacking cricket. But on Thursday it was all about focus as the two put on a brilliant show for the opening wicket on the second day of the first Test against England. While Rohit did get out against the run of play with the score on 97, he has said one needs to be ready to play shots.
Nottingham [UK], August 6 : “Not really, like you said it is my shot so I have to play my shots. As you saw in the first hour of play, we did not get any loose balls and you know their bowlers were really disciplined so you have to take your chances. When the ball is there to be hit, you have to punish it. However, if you get out close to break or close of play, you do feel disappointed but you have to be ready to play your shots as well. Their bowlers are really disciplined, you hardly get anything. “You have to put the loose balls away and that is what I and KL discussed. While doing that, if you get out, you do feel disappointed. There is a very thin line between getting out to a shot like that, if the same ball was slightly away from the fielder, it could have been different. You have to stay positive, if I see the ball in my area, then I have to play my shots,” said Rohit while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
Asked if the loss of wickets after his dismissal is a point of concern, the batsman answered in the negative. “No, it is not a concern. I think if you look at how they got out, it was to good balls. I just feel you have to play to the conditions. I think we played well according to the conditions to start with.
“But obviously, there will be times when bowlers will come back and you have to respond to that. We were not able to respond but those things can happen in a place like this where we know overcast conditions matter. I do not think any concern is there, they just got out to good balls,” he pointed.
Getting the first innings lead is always crucial and that is the target that the Indian players wish to achieve before looking ahead.
“Yes, if we look at 183, the whole idea for us is to get to that total first. If you get ahead, then you can really put pressure on the opposition. We have to make sure we get to their total and we get ahead as much as we can to put pressure on their batting lineup,” he explained.
Rohit always looks at ease when he is playing well, but the opener said it is not as easy as it might look from the outside.
“Trust me, when you are batting in the middle, I do not feel that I have time. It’s odd that people outside feel that I have a lot of time. I have to be ready each and every time I play the ball. Some bowlers and conditions will suit your batting and some will not, and that is the challenge of Test cricket.
“I personally do not feel that I have a lot of time while playing against bowlers. You have to be ready, bowlers are trying to hit your pads all the time. I felt good as I spent time on the wicket, the biggest aim for me is to spend a lot of time on the wicket, you have to play shots if you want to score runs.
“In the first hour, England bowlers bowled good line and length so hitting shots was not easy. You do not get enough loose balls and the conditions are challenging, so if you think you can play shots, then you should. When conditions are challenging, you have to respect that also, and that I did initially. But to keep the scoreboard moving you have to play shots. I am just disappointed that I got dismissed at the wrong time and if I had not been dismissed, then maybe we would not have lost four wickets,” he said.