Chennai, February 13th (PTI) Indian opener Rohit Sharma is very clear that even a bit of doubt while playing the sweep shot on a reverser can lead to inevitable problems.
With one of the best shows of sweep shots played at the Chepauk since Sachin Tendulkar’s brave 136 against Pakistan in 1999, Rohit has put his team in a formidable position on a track that is deteriorating pretty quickly.
England know that they will face a tough task in the second test, which started here on Saturday.
“Before it’s too late you start doing what you want to do, and you can’t be temporary. If you want to sweep, you sweep it,” Rohit’s statement had a touch of Tuco Ramirez’s famous punchline of the Mexican bandit – “When you have to shoot, shoot, not talk” from the Hollywood classic “The Good The Bad The Ugly”.
After seeing Joe Root kill the Indian weirdos in the first test, it felt like a good bill for Rohit, who had prepared well over the last two workouts.
“We knew how the pitch was prepared and we knew it was going to turn. So we had a few training sessions before today and trained according to today’s expectations,” he said.
“When you’re playing on turning spots where you need to be proactive and not reactive. Get on the bowler and make sure you are ahead of them. Little adjustment based on that.
“When it turns, how much of it … things like that before decisions are made about shot selection,” the white ball vice-captain said.
Moeen Ali had troubled the Indian batsmen in the past and it was imperative for Rohit that England’s senior off-spinner had to be swept out of the rough to negate the chance of a leg before the decision.
“What helped me was the preparation I had before the game. I understood the line Moeen Ali was bowling on. He was bowling into the rough, so there is little chance that I would get one before the decision Got a leg, “he explained.
“I also saw the deep square leg being pushed back. Even if I had the top edge on it, it wouldn’t end up in a safe place. Those were my ideas and thoughts.”
According to Rohit, sweep is a percentage shot that takes the state of pitch out of the equation.
“Sweep shot is something that you know can frustrate a bowler when you play this well. When you play that shot, the bowler can’t do much from there, or pitch can from there.
“It was a percentage shot he had to play when he was bowling outside the stump and lbw couldn’t play. Just a strange ball he bowled on the wicket where I wanted to use my feet and cover the spin while I was grabbed in the direction of the ball. “”
In the case of the left-armed spinner Jack Leach, the point was to present a straight bat.
“Leach was bowling stump to stump so it was important that I play the turn. It was important to play with a straight racket because the turn was angled slightly. I made sure I got the ball between cover and point slide and rotate the stroke.
“Once you turn the stroke, it’s not easy for a bowler to roll to a different batsman every time. I wanted to hit as long as possible because the playing field will be very worn from days two and three.”
The ‘Hit-Man’ didn’t want to rate any of his hundreds, although he would know in his heart that this would be the highest of his seven three-digit grades.
“I will not rate any of my strokes because each stroke is under a different pressure and under different circumstances.
“I’m not the person to rate any of my strokes. Little disappointment to get out like this, but glad the team is in a good position,” he said.
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