Rohit Sharma has picked the come-from-behind win in Australia during the 2020-21 tour as the highlight of India’s Test cricket over the last couple of years.
India were bundled out for 36 in the first Test of the series in Adelaide. Subsequently, they were hit by injuries and a number of their senior players were ruled out by the time the series reached the decider in Brisbane. However, a young Indian outfit managed to pull off an astonishing 2-1 series win against a full-strength Australian team.
At an ICC event 'Afternoon With Test Legends’, also featuring Pat Cummins, Ross Taylor, and Ian Bell, the Indian captain was asked about the high point of the team’s Test journey in the last two years.
Rohit promptly replied:
"The last couple of years, specially after Covid-19, you know the times weren't that great. Specially the bubble, you didn't know what to expect. Stuck indoors and the younger boys were quite upset about that. But again, you need to beat the odds and come out on top. I thought the way we played in Australia was probably the top highlight, I would say.
“After losing the first Test match in Adelaide and then coming back to win, that shows the strength and the depth of the team as well because we had lot of injuries on that trip. I wasn't part of the first two Test matches. I was part of the third and fourth one. I know as a team what we were going through. So, a really tough time, but we held our nerves.”
Rohit credited the young guns for stepping up to the big challenge and delivering the goods under pressure, despite the lack of familiarity with the conditions.
“Like Pat [Cummins] just said, we came out on top but there was a lot of groundwork that happened behind the scene as well. A lot of the young players stepped in and turned things around for us. A lot of senior players were missing on that trip and that was certainly the best we played outside India,” Rohit added.
After being bundled out for a mere 36 in Adelaide, India were without skipper Virat Kohli for the rest of the series.
Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane lifted the side with a spirited hundred at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Rishabh Pant then played a blinder at The Gabba to guide India to a three-wicket win in the deciding Test.
“It brings the best out of you” - Rohit Sharma on the beauty of Test cricket
While Rohit Sharma is regarded as an all-time great in the limited-overs formats, he acknowledged that the challenge of playing a Test match often brings out the best in a player.
"It keeps challenging you. You want to be in these situations. You look forward and as a person, it brings the best out of you. In the last 3-4 years in Test cricket, we have had good success. Now it is about crossing that final hurdle and giving that confidence to youngsters so that they can play in the way they want to play,” Rohit concluded.
India will take on Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Oval from June 7 to 11.