Rohit Sharma understands the criticism that his untimely dismissal has invited but the India vice-captain has “no regrets” about going after Nathan Lyon, saying that’s his way of putting bowlers under pressure.
Rohit looked in good touch during his 44 off 74 balls but was dismissed trying to loft Lyon over mid-wicket, the kind of shots that has often brought about his dismissal even during earlier Test matches.
“You always have a plan and I actually have no regret of playing that shot. It is something that I always like to do — put pressure on bowlers. Nathan Lyon is a smart bowler and he bowled into me which made it difficult for me to get some elevation,” Rohit said at the post-match virtual conference.
His shot selection invited criticism from the commentary box. India were 62 for two at stumps when Rohit could have gone for a big score after a good start.
Rohit understands the disappointment but in his defence would explain why he went for that kind of a high-risk stroke.
“It’s not that it is (that shot) coming out of nowhere. It’s a shot that I have played well in the past. That’s something that I back myself to play and that’s the kind of role I play in this team. When it looks like that, it looks bad, but I don’t think too much as my focus is to make it count once I am in,” he said.
“Having said that, there is a process I like to follow. Sometimes you get out and sometimes it goes over the ropes. Unfortunate and sad dismissal in the end to be honest. Like I said, those are my shots and I will keep playing them,” the senior player was forthright about his mind-set.
As he has always maintained, he doesn’t have much time for his critics and would rather focus on the role his team wants him to perform.
“The team has shown lot of confidence in me. It’s just that I have to do what the team expects me to do and not worry about what happens anywhere else or what people talk about.”
Rohit has had starts in all three innings — 27 and 52 in Sydney apart from his 44 over here.
He explained about the technical adjustments that he made in Sydney and now in Brisbane as he has tackled the Australian pacers well.
“In Sydney, there wasn’t much bounce, so I was staying on leg stump of the ball and here I knew the line and lengths particulary of the two right handers (Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood), they try and test you outside the off-stump all the time.
“So, here, I came a little bit on the off-stump to make sure that I cover the line and don’t push my hands outside the off-stump. That’s the little adjustment that I did,” he explained.
During his two weeks of hard quarantine, he watched the Australian pacers at work in Adelaide and Melbourne and made a mental note of how he would approach their first spells.
“I was watching the first two Tests and saw the discipline that Aussie bowlers had and you have to try and figure out ways to score runs against these guys. They don’t give anything easy.
“What has really worked in the first half of my batting is getting closer to the ball and try and leave anything outside the off-stump. And then once I am in, try and play a few shots as well because that’s what you want to do, score runs and see how they react when you score runs,” he said.
On the match situation, Rohit said that although 369 at the Gabba was a very good first innings score and there is no reason why India with two of their most seasoned campaigners at the crease can’t match the home team’s total on a good batting track.
“We have got solid batters to come in now. Two of the most experienced players are still out there in the middle. The pitch is good and I don’t see any reason why we can’t get to that total of first innings.”
His advice for the batsmen is to play session by session rather than looking at the final total.
“We should focus on what’s there in front of us rather than thinking too far ahead. It’s a big score and we have to focus on sessions, take it as it comes. The pitch is playing good and we have to back ourselves. We have the guys to do it and I don’t see why we can bat well on day three,’ he said.