Must be further cautious throughout twilight part: Rohit Sharma

Ahmedabad, February 21

Set to play in only his second pink-ball Test, India opener Rohit Sharma today said he will be “extra cautious and focussed” while batting during the twilight phase of the upcoming Day/Night Test against England.

Rohit, who scored a dazzling 161 in the second Test, had featured in the first Day/Night Test held in India against Bangladesh in November 2019 but did not bat during the twilight phase.

“So far I have only heard that it kind of plays on a batsman’s mind. I played just one pink-ball Test against Bangladesh but didn’t get to bat at that (twilight) time when sun was about to set but I have to try and understand what exactly happens during that time,” he said.

“It’s obviously a little challenging, the weather and light suddenly change. You have to be extra cautious and focussed, you need to talk to yourself. All batters are aware of these challenges. We just need to be mindful of the situation and play accordingly.”

The four-Test series is currently tied at 1-1.

Qualifying for WTC final

With a World Test Championship final spot at stake, the ongoing series holds great significance for both India and England. While India need to win at least one more match and draw the other if they are to progress to the final, England must win both the remaining games.

“Yes, of course we want to qualify, we want to be there in the final but we still need to do a lot of things right to get there. When we are playing, the focus is only on what we need to do to win the game,” he said.

Home advantage

Rohit took aim at critics who complained about the Chennai pitch in the second Test, saying India were well within their rights to prepare a surface that assists spin. India won the second Test by 317 runs after England struggled to negotiate spin on a track where Rohit and Ravichandran Ashwin notched centuries in the first and second innings, respectively.

Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh called the pitch unacceptable while former England captain Michael Vaughan described it as a beach but Rohit said home advantage meant India could prepare a pitch to their liking.

“The pitch is the same for both teams, so I don’t know why there is so much discussion about it. Pitches have been prepared like this in India for years,” Rohit told reporters today.

“Every side takes advantage of home conditions even when we travel… When we travel they (opponents) make our life difficult.”

“We make pitches according to our preferences, that’s why it’s called home advantage. Otherwise take away home advantage and ask the ICC to make a rule to prepare the same pitches in India and outside India.”— Agencies

Kohli’s men get used to swinging pink ball

Jasprit Bumrah bowls in the nets. BCCI

Ahmedabad: Captain Virat Kohli led a vigorous training session as the Indian team today looked to get used to the swinging pink ball ahead of the Day/Night Test against England starting Wednesday. Kohli, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant batted in the nets as the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj ran in and tested themselves under the blazing sun. Pace spearhead Bumrah is bracing for a comeback after missing the second match. Ishant Sharma, who is standing on the cusp of playing in his 100th Test, was also seen in action. Shubman Gill also had a hit at the nets, with the Punjab batsman again getting ready to pair up with Rohit at the top of the order in the upcoming match. PTI

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