Waugh, interestingly, compared Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli’s playing styles in the longest format and said that the former India captain is someone who likes to ‘dig in’ and bat long.
Rohit Sharma is one of those very few players who can take the opposition, pitch and conditions out of the equation when in full flow. On Day 1 of the first India vs Australia Test match that marked the beginning of this edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, he definitely was in full flow. The Indian batting appeared to be batting on a different surface in the last session on Thursday. Yes, Pat Cummins was quite generous in dishing out leg stump half-volleys on multiple occasions in a rare off day but Rohit looked in complete control against pretty much all the other Australian bowlers.
The India opener was decisive in his footwork against both off-spinners Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy and did not miss out on any scoring opportunities. Rohit raced to his fifty off just 66 balls on a Nagpur pitch where all the Australian batters struggled and those who looked settled, like Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, found it difficult to score freely.
Praising the Indian captain for his strokeplay and ability to take the match away from the opposition, former Australia opener Mark Waugh said Rohit Sharma is the ‘key’ to the Indian batting.
“Rohit Sharma is the key to the Indian batting. He is a very good player of spin. He has scored so quickly, that’s the thing,” Waugh said on Star Sports after Rohit remained unbeaten on 56 at stumps on Day 1, trailing Australia by only 100 runs.
Waugh, interestingly, compared Rohit and Virat Kohli’s playing styles in the longest format and said that the former India captain is someone who likes to ‘dig in’ and bat long.
“You look at the rest of Indian players, I think Kohli sort of digs in and takes his time but Sharma is one guy who can take the game away from Australia quite quickly. He looked like a different player who was batting on a different surface. It was a classy innings,” he added.
The day belonged to the Indian bowlers led by comeback man Ravindra Jadeja. He returned with figures of 5 for 57 while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin chipped in with three wickets to help India bowl Australia out for 177 after they opted to bat first.