Opener Rohit Sharma has dismissed the criticism of the Motera pitch that saw the third Test between India and England finishing inside two days with spinners claiming 28 of the 30 wickets that fell during the contest. Rohit was the top-scorer from either teams hitting 66 in the first innings and then hitting run-a-ball 25 not out as India chased down the target of 49 with all 10 wickets intact. Also Read - Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah Retain BCCI A+ Annual Contracts; Hardik Pandya Moves to Grade A, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Drops to B
The only other half-centurion from the Test was England opener Zak Crawley who made 53 in the first innings after captain Joe Root opted to bat first. England were bowled out for 112 and 81 across their two innings while in replay India made 145-all out and 49/0. Also Read - "Philosophy of Never Giving Up": John Cena on Correlation Between Him And Virat Kohli
Several former cricketers including the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Michael Vaughan have been critical of the surface, calling it not ideal for Test cricket. However, Rohit begs to differ and instead blamed the batsmen for not applying themselves on a track that required patience. Also Read - IPL 2021: During Timeout, Virat Kohli Told us His Gut Feel is to Bowl Shahbaz Ahmed - Simon Katich
“To be honest, on a pitch like that.. the pitch didn’t do anything,” Rohit said during a media interaction on Thursday. “If I can recollect, most of the batsmen got out to straighter deliveries. Not just them, we, as a batting unit, made a lot of mistakes. We didn’t bat well in the first innings. The pitch had nothing as such, no such demons as we call. It was a nice pitch to bat on, once you’re in, you can score runs as well.”
He continued, “But again, you just need to apply and keep concentrating on a pitch like that. To score runs, you need more concentration on a pitch like that.”
He further threw light on how one should have approached their innings on a challenging pitch as was dished out at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. “When you are playing on a pitch like that, you need to have an intent and look to score runs as well. You can’t just keep blocking. As you saw that odd ball might just turn and odd ball might just skid onto stumps, when you play for turn,” he said.
Rohit said he kept finding ways to score runs which was the correct way to flourish. “You just need to be slightly ahead at times and try to find ways to score runs. My intent was not just to survive but try and score runs as well, while respecting the good balls. That’s all I tried to do,” he said.