Rohit Sharma has been to Australia quite a few times now. So, when he returned to Sydney after attending the birth of his child in India, he wasn’t feeling tired or jet-lagged.
It did not appear as well when batted for 45 overs in India chase and scored his 22nd ODI century and seventh against Australia in Sydney. Chasing 289 for win, India fell short by 36 runs despite Rohit holding fort at one end.
With the loss of three early wickets, a non-performing middle-order, and no all-rounder in the team India had to do too much in the end. The visitors now find themselves trailing 0-1 in the three-match series.
The opener ran out of partners once MS Dhoni was dismissed for a 52 and Rohit accepted that losing regular wickets and no lower-order support meant the asking rate was never in India’s control.
“The thought was to build partnerships [after being three down],” Rohit said. “The wicket was still playing good and we knew we could put some bowlers under pressure.
“When we were building that partnership unfortunately MS [Dhoni] got out. We knew it would be a hard task.
“We believe in Jadeja to come out and play those cameos whenever required. But again the asking rate was way too much when he came to bat. I don’t think it [lower-order failure] is a worry but it’s an eyeopener. There will be times when number six, seven and eight need to score those crucial runs.
He added that batsman learn from such game but it is about execution in international cricket, revealing that batting was difficult because the ball was reversing.
“It’s time to go and execute. International cricket is all about absorbing pressure and today was a perfect example where we were not able to absorb pressure.
“Surprisingly the ball was reversing quiet a bit when these guys were bowling. To adjust to that is not easy, especially for the new batter.”
Rohit shared a century-stand with MS Dhoni, who also scored a half-century, after India were reduced to 4 for 3. The stand gave India a fighting chance but the asking rate had soared by the time Dhoni got out.
During the partnership, Rohit explained that they wanted to rebuild the innings and take on the bowler once they cross the 100-run mark.
“It’s good sign for us that he showed that he can come out to bat anytime the team wants him to bat. He tries to keep things simple and I am pretty similar to that.
“We never discuss about target. We wanted to bat and see where we go after 25 overs. Till then it was bowlers dominating, coming and hitting their length.”
But Jhye Richardson took four wickets for 26 runs to derail India and hand Australia the win after they had lost the Test series 1-2. Rohit praised Richardson as “great prospect” for Australia.