Opener offers an insight into his decision to employ the sweep and the preparation involved
Joe Root had highlighted the effectiveness of the sweep shot in Sri Lanka and in the previous Test here when he made a double century.
On Saturday, Rohit Sharma, who struck a brilliant 161, said he had decided to employ the sweep against England because of the assistance on offer for the spinners.
“When you play on turning pitches, you have got to be proactive. You cannot be reactive. We wanted to make sure we used our feet a lot more and made sure we swept the ball,” said Rohit on the adjustments he made to his game.
“Getting on top of the bowler and making sure you are ahead of him was very crucial. The preparation helped. We knew how the pitch was prepared and it was going to turn. We had a few good training sessions before the game and practised according to what we were going to expect in the middle,” he added.
Elaborating on his decision to sweep, Rohit said, “Moeen [Ali] was trying to bowl in the rough outside the off-stump. So there was very little chance of being out lbw when you are sweeping from outside off.
“With two fielders on the boundary line, even if I top-edged it, I knew it was going to land in a safe area. Against Leach, I wanted to make sure I played with an angled bat with the turn.”
In sublime touch
In the first session, the opener was in sublime touch, scoring 80 of the 106 India made. “When you play on a pitch like that which might do something every ball, you have to look to score runs by rotating the strike and using your feet,” said Rohit on his brisk pace of scoring.
Commenting on the state of the match, Rohit said 350 will be a good first-innings total. “It is going to start turning more as the days go by. We still have four wickets in hand and if [Rishabh] Pant and Axar [Patel] can get as many as possible tomorrow [Sunday] because there are already rough patches on the pitch.”