Intent to score was needed on Motera track: Rohit Sharma

Ahmedabad, Feb 26 (PTI): Intent to score and not just survive was the key to flourish on the Motera pitch, asserted India opener Rohit Sharma who batted effortlessly on the “interesting but normal” pitch that was declared difficult and challenging by visiting England batsmen.
Rohit attributed his sublime first innings half-century to the positive intent that he displayed during the day-night third Test in which England got thrashed by 10 wickets inside two days on the spin-friendly pitch.
“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,” Rohit said during the virtual conference after the match on Thursday.
England captain Joe Root and Zak Crawley had earlier described the track as challenging.
The senior opener scored India’s only half-century of the game with the home side spinners accounting for 19 wickets. England batsmen were deceived by left-armer Axar Patel’s straighter deliveries that skidded straight instead of turning.
Rohit felt that during his innings of 66, he was a step or two ahead of England bowlers.
“You just need to be slightly ahead at times and try and 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. “The pitch was an interesting one and odd ball was just coming in and some were taking turns. On a track like this, you need to have a clear mindset, which I think I did until I played that sweep shot.”
He felt that Patel’s strategy of attacking the stumps paid off well. The spinner ended the game with 11 wickets in his kitty.
“Axar was simply brilliant,” Rohit said, lauding the bowler who had big shoes to fill, replacing an injured Ravindra Jadeja.
“Coming out from nowhere and performing is never easy. He was out injured, slightly down, came back and bowled very well in Chennai. He understands conditions well and how to vary the pace and what lines to bowl.” Coming wider off the crease was also another effective ploy used by Patel.

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