Rohit Sharma played an uncharacteristic knock on the second day of the 4th Test between India and England, scoring 49 runs off 144 balls. After the day's play, explaining why he took such a cautious approach, Sharma said that there was moisture on the pitch and batting wasn't easy.
With Ben Stokes and James Anderson bowling well in tandem, the Indian opener added it was important for him to be watchful early on as the conditions offered some swing and seam movement.
India found it hard to score runs in the first session and the visitors picked up the crucial wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara (17), Virat Kohli (0) and Ajinkya Rahane (27) before lunch on Day 2.
Speaking about his batting approach, Rohit Sharma said after the day's play:
"There was moisture on the pitch early on. There was some help for the bowlers as the ball was swinging and a little beat of seam movement was also there. So my plan was to see out the first 30-45 minutes. When the spinners come on to bowl, I just had to wait for the loose ball and be patient."
"So that was my plan. It was pretty simple (the plan), leaving the ball outside off and show some respect to it as something happening in those areas and the ball was swinging. I suggested the same to Pujara (to be watchful) while batting," Sharma added.
England showed some fight in the first session today, but the day belonged to India, thanks to Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar's brilliant partnership of 113. The hosts now lead by 89 runs, with Sundar (60*) and Axar Patel (11*) at the crease.
Rohit Sharma becomes the top run-scorer in the series
Following his knock of 49 runs today, Rohit Sharma is now the leading run-scorer in the ongoing series with 345 runs. The Indian opener went past Joe Root's tall of 338 runs in the scoring charts. The 33-year-old has looked head and shoulders above everyone in this series, where batting has been tough given the conditions on offer.
In the 3rd Test in Ahmedabad, which ended inside two days, Sharma scored close to 47% of India's runs. His masterful knock of 161 runs in the 2nd Test in Chennai has been the highlight of the series.