India opening batsman Rohit Sharma has played down the failure of Indian middle-order and key batsmen after the trio Cheteshwar Pujara (4), Virat Kohli (0) and Ajinkya Rahane (5) failed to build on the platform provided by him and KL Rahul on the second day of the first Test against England.
“It is not a concern. If you look at it, it were actually to good balls that they (Kohli, Rahane) got out to,” said opener Rohit Sharma who was dismissed for 36 at the stroke of lunch.
India went from 97 for no loss to 112/4 as the Indian batsmen fell to swing from James Anderson as well as a run out [of Rahane]. Anderson scalped both Pujara and Kohli off successive balls, having them caught behind, just before the run out of Rahane.
“I just feel that sometimes you have to play the conditions and I thought we played the conditions very well to start with. But obviously there will be times you know the bowlers are going to come back and you got to respond to that. Just that we were not able to respond to that,” said Sharma to the media in a virtual interaction.
“But those things happen in a place like this where we know the overhead conditions matter a lot and suddenly when it was overcast, the ball started to do a little more than expected. I don’t see any concern there. They just got out to good balls.”
Sharma and Rahul (57 not out) had added 97 for the first wicket before the former was dismissed caught at fine leg just before lunch. He fell to a pull shot, which is his strength.
In the past, he has been blamed for throwing his wicket away. During the fourth and final Test against Australia at the Gabba, Sharma had squandered a good start and holed out to deep off off-spinner Nathan Lyon. India, however, won that match.
Sharma said he doesn’t regret having fallen to his shot.
“Like you said it is my shot, so I have to play shots, as we saw in the first hour of play, we did not get any loose balls and their bowlers were quite disciplined,” said Sharma.
“So, you have to take your odd chances when the ball is there, you got to punish them… you got to be ready to play your shots as well, because their bowlers are so disciplined, you hardly get anything. So, you got to put the balls, which are in your area away,” added Sharma.
“..We will play those shots. While doing that if you get out, I mean you feel disappointed, but you know there is very thin line between getting out like that and that same delivery if it [had landed] slightly away or five yards left and right of the fielder, it could have been [a boundary].”