Chennai, February 13
Rohit Sharma struck an attractive, aggressive 161 on a challenging wicket, helping India seize the initiative with a solid 300/6 on Day 1 of the second cricket Test against England today.
Ajinkya Rahane looked equally attractive during his knock of 67 off 149 balls as the two Mumbaikars added 162 runs for the fourth wicket. It was worth the trouble for the 12,000 spectators who flocked the stadium as Indian cricket welcomed fans back into live matches for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A score of over 350 on this turner wicket will be equivalent to 500 on any other track, and Rishabh Pant, batting on 33, has the ability to take the team score close to 400.
Rohit had scored six Test hundreds before today, all in India, and this would rank very high due to the quality of attack he faced and the challenging conditions.
Rohit made batting look easy on a difficult wicket, hitting 18 fours and two sixes in his 231-ball knock. He also silenced those who doubt his temperament by scoring runs when it mattered the most as India attempt to level the series after a crushing loss in the first Test.
Rohit displayed great control with his sweeps, putting out a big front-foot stride outside the off-stump to sweep both Moeen Ali and Jack Leach. Knowing fully well that the track would start crumbling with the passage of play, Rohit attacked at the first opportunity, picking up 80 runs in the first session.
After Shubman Gill fell to the third ball he faced, offering no stroke to Olly Stone, Rohit added 85 runs with Cheteshwar Pujara (21), who fell when he edged Leach to Ben Stokes at slip. — TNS/Agencies