Rohit Sharma reveals his message to bowlers when Ben Duckett was bossing things in first innings

The atmosphere was thick with tension as England’s batsman Ben Duckett seemed to be in full control during the first innings of the third Test in Rajkot, placing the Indian cricket team under massive pressure. Indian captain Rohit Sharma faced the ordeal with a strategic calm, as he encouraged his bowling squad to maintain their composure amidst the challenging situation.

Despite being in pursuit of India’s formidable first innings score of 445 runs, England’s stance appeared tenable—perhaps even advantageous—at the end of the second day, standing at 207/2 and trailing by 238 runs. Duckett’s prowess was palpable as he confidently played against the Indian bowlers, raising concerns for the hosts.

To compound India’s predicament, seasoned bowler Ravichandran Ashwin was missing in action, having to tend to a family emergency and thereby absent for the entirety of the third day. However, the narrative took an unexpected turn as England’s “Bazballers” succumbed to giving away their wickets, a pivotal moment that eventually dictated the game’s direction.

Rohit Sharma, during the post-match presentation, unveiled his insights and the guidance he provided his bowlers during this critical juncture. Rohit stressed the importance of endurance in the sport stating, “When you’re playing Test cricket, it’s not played over two days or three days. We do understand the importance of extending the game for five days.” Appreciating the opponent’s skillful play, he acknowledged, “They played well, to be honest, and played some really good shots. They put us under pressure a little bit there.”

Nevertheless, he exhibited faith in his team’s capabilities, “but look we’ve got class in our squad when it comes to bowling.” The mantra he projected was clear – stay on course and keep a level head. “Obviously, the message was to stay calm because when things like that happen, it’s actually easy to drift away from what you want to do as a team. But I’m really proud of how we came back the next day, stuck to what we discussed, and when those things happen, it’s a delight to watch,” he narrated confidently during the post-match press conference.

Reflecting on the game’s progression, Rohit pointed to other crucial moments, like the coin toss. “A lot of turning points. Once we won the toss…that was an ideal toss to win because we know in India, how pivotal it is to win the toss and compile runs on the board,” he explained. This coincided with Rohit’s emphasis on the significance of the lead India had garnered, which proved essential. Discussing the bowling strategy, he relayed pride in his team’s disposition, “The bowlers showed a great deal of character,” especially given that they were missing Ashwin, their most experienced bowler.

The pitch conditions added to the challenge, favoring the batsmen to an extent. Rohit acknowledged this, reasoning that it wasn’t a surface where one could effortlessly claim wickets. He emphasized the effort required, stating, “On this wicket, you won’t get easy wickets because you have to work hard for it because this surface looks good to bat on and you need to exert yourself to achieve wickets. You can’t just bowl and expect wickets easily. You have to merit the wicket.”

Throughout the test, Rohit Sharma demonstrated strategic leadership and the importance of a composed approach under duress. This mindset not only helped stave off the immediate threat posed by Duckett but also laid the groundwork for what became a triumphant comeback by the Indian bowlers. The captain’s composure, faith in his team’s experience, and skill crystallized into a resilience that eventually turned the tides in India’s favor.

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