Rohit Sharma's swashbuckling 161-run knock on the first day of the Chennai Test helped India reach a score of 300/6 at stumps. This was the fourth time the seven-time centurion went past the 150-run mark in Test matches.
While reviewing the day's play on Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar spoke in glowing terms about Rohit Sharma's willingness to play a significant knock and his judicious shot selection.
"Rohit Sharma's determination to play the long innings was most impressive. His shot selection was very good. There is always a discussion about his shot selection because he has so many shots. He is spoilt for riches, and gets out at times playing those shots," said Gavaskar.
The cricketer-turned commentator highlighted that Rohit Sharma largely refrained from taking the aerial route and did not look to hit against the spin.
"But the determination he showed this time, and he had decided that he will hit very less over the top and play along the ground, he will hit only straight down the ground when hitting over the top and will not play against the spin," Gavaskar observed.
"It was very difficult to stop Rohit Sharma" - Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar pointed out that the extent of Rohit Sharma's domination could be gauged by the fact that he scored almost 65% of the team's runs before he was dismissed.
"He played 360 degree around the ground, and it was very difficult to stop him. If you see India scored 300 runs, out of which 161 are Rohit Sharma's. That tells you how much he has dominated today's play and this Indian innings," said Gavaskar.
The former Indian skipper complimented Rohit Sharma for batting responsibly in the company of Ajinkya Rahane and take the Indian team out of a spot of bother.
"He knew it is difficult to get set here, so the player who is set has to play the long innings, and he has to select the shots properly. So he did just like that. There was responsibility on him when three wickets had fallen quickly, and there was a need of a partnership, so he did that along with the vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane," concluded Gavaskar.
Rohit Sharma paced his innings extremely well. He scored his first 80 runs off just 78 deliveries in the first session, and did not let the England bowlers settle down.
After gauging the pace and the bounce of the wicket, he slowed down after lunch. Nevertheless, Rohit Sharma has ensured that Team India have a good platform for a decent first-innings total.