There were eight players in the starting line-up with a collective experience of only 68 Tests, five of them with match count that was not even in double digits. No wonder skipper Rohit Sharma was proud of his inexperienced bunch pulling off an impressive 106-run victory in the second Test against an aggressive England, where the hosts didn’t have the luxury of banking on the seasoned trio of Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul.
“(I am) very proud of such a young squad, to come up against a team like that. Lot of the guys are quite young in terms of playing this form of the game,” Rohit said at the post match presentation ceremony, lauding the likes of double centurion Yashasvi and second innings ton-maker Shubman Gill.
Rohit knows that less experienced players are bound to make mistakes and he wants experts to cut them some slack.
“It’ll take some time to be absolutely spot on. (I) want them to play freely without any pressure,” Rohit said.
“The last couple of years, England have been playing good cricket. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy series. Three more to go. We’ll keep our check on it and make sure we do most things right.”
No praise was enough for pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, whose match haul of nine wickets on a sporting deck fetched him the player of the match award. The skipper kept it short and reiterated what has been said several times for his biggest match-winner.
“He is a champion player for us,” Rohit said but wanted to look at the bigger picture.
“You win a game like that, you have to look at the overall performance as well. We were good with the bat. You know winning a Test in these conditions is not easy. Wanted our bowlers to step up and they did that.”
Yashasvi Jaiswal with 86 in the first Test, followed by a maiden double hundred in the just-concluded game looks like a star in the making and Rohit wants him to remain grounded.
“He looks like a good player, understands his game really well. There is a long way to go for him, he has got a lot to offer for our team. Hope he stays humble.”
England couldn’t win it but did make a match of it for a while with their ‘Bazball’ approach. Rohit acknowledged that the pitch was good to bat on.
“The wicket was really good to bat on. If I have to point anything, lot of the batters got starts but couldn’t get big score. But I understand they’re young and new to the game. (It is) important for us to give them confidence,” he said.
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