Virat Kohli credited Rohit Sharma for being the game-changer during the recently-concluded India-England Test series. The Indian skipper said that Rohit Sharma’s 161 in the second Test in Chennai turned around India’s fortunes in the series.
Batting on a tough Chennai wicket under pressure, Rohit Sharma scored 161 of 231 balls in the second Test. His big hundred helped India make full use of the conditions after winning the toss and put pressure back on an England side that was flying high on confidence after winning the series opener.
Speaking to Harsha Bhogle in the post-match presentation, Virat Kohli termed Rohit Sharma’s knock as one of his best in Test cricket.
“I think Rohit’s knock was the defining moment in us coming back into the series. Getting 160 on that pitch is as good as getting 250 on any good batting wicket. I think it’s definitely one of his best Test knocks, if not the best. That gave us the kind of momentum we needed as a side and really got us into the contest. It was an outstanding innings, and he batted really well at the top of the order.”
Rohit Sharma was India’s leading run-scorer in the series, scoring 345 runs in seven innings. He scored a ton and a half-century, doing so at a healthy average of 57.5, which was key, as most of the Indian batsmen struggled to get going.
A crucial feature of Rohit Sharma’s performance in the series was how he stepped up in different ways. Although his 161 in Chennai earned him rich plaudits, Rohit Sharma also made several other handy contributions that went unnoticed.
He scored 66 in the pink-ball Test, where he seemed to be batting on a different wicket as India bundled out for just 145 in the first innings.
Rohit Sharma’s 49 in the final Test, where he curbed his natural instincts to stay at the crease for a while helped India tremendously as well. After the game, Virat Kohli reflected on Rohit Sharma’s invaluable contributions at the top of the order
“Throughout the series, he gave us important knocks and important partnerships as well, which is unnoticed when you don’t get those three figures. He got one, but the other knocks were very very crucial for us.”
Virat Kohli also heaps praise on Ravichandran Ashwin
Virat Kohli also applauded all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin’s efforts in the series. The veteran off-spinner was adjudged the Man of the Series, as he made contributions from both bat and ball to help India beat England 3-1.
In a series where Ravichandran Ashwin scored 189 runs and picked a series-high 32 wickets, Virat Kohli was all praise for the 34-year-old, saying:
“Well, Ashwin obviously has been a banker for us. The past 6-7 years in Test cricket, his numbers speak volumes of what he’s done in the past few years.”