2nd Test: Winning a Test in these conditions is not easy; bowlers stepped up, says Rohit Sharma

February 5, 2024
Rohit Sharma lauded the bowlers for stepping up to lead the team to victory in not-so-easy conditions.

Visakhapatnam, Feb 5 (IANS) After defeating England by 106 runs to win the second Test, India captain Rohit Sharma lauded the bowlers for stepping up to lead the team to victory in not-so-easy conditions.

In day four’s play at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium on Monday, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah took three wickets each for India to defend 399 after bowling out England for 292.

Bumrah, whose spell of 6-45 gave India a vital 171-run first-innings lead, was the pick of the bowlers again with his spell of 3-46. Bumrah finishes the Visakhapatnam Test with match figures of 9-91, which is also the best figures for an Indian fast-bowler on home soil in Tests against England.

Ashwin bowled well to take 3-72 and is now just one wicket away from reaching 500 Test scalps. Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Mukesh Kumar took a wicket each in India bouncing back from the 28-run defeat in Hyderabad with an emphatic series-squaring victory at Visakhapatnam.

“(Bumrah) He’s a champion player for us, done the job for a while. When you win a game like that you have to look at the overall performance. We know that winning a Test match in these conditions is not going to be easy, the bowlers stepped up,” said Rohit after the match ended.

With the bat, young opener Yashasvi Jaiswal made a majestic 209 in the first innings, and Rohit appreciated his efforts. “(Jaiswal) Looks like a very good player, understands his game. Got a long way to go, of course. It was an exceptional knock. He has a lot to offer the team, I hope he stays humble. The wicket was good to bat on, a lot of the batters got starts and didn’t convert. They are young, new to this format, it will take some time.”

An emphatic series-squaring victory at Visakhapatnam meant India managed to bounce back from the 28-run defeat in Hyderabad. The next game of the series will be held at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot on February 15, giving both teams a ten-day break.

“This win gives us a lot of confidence. Very proud of such a young squad, to come up against a team like that. Very positive. We want these guys to have time in the middle. It’s a good challenge, England have been playing good cricket. Not going to be an easy series. Three more games to go, need to make sure we do most things right,” added Rohit.

Bumrah, who was named Player of the Match, produced magical deliveries in the match – like castling the middle and leg stumps of Ollie Pope with a menacing yorker. “I don’t look at numbers. If you think about numbers there is a lot of pressure. I’m very happy that we won and contributed to that. As a youngster that was the first delivery I learned in tennis-ball cricket (which led to Pope’s dismissal). I used to feel that is the only way to take wickets.”

Bumrah also said with the team in transition, it is his responsibility to guide other bowlers in going about the business. “Not the leader (of the attack) but we are going through a transition so it’s my responsibility to guide them. We discuss everything, about what I am thinking and what he (Rohit) thinks we should do.

“I am a fast bowling fan, before being a cricketer. It is all I have ever enjoyed watching and doing. So I always enjoy watching fast bowlers, even on the other team. I look at the situation, I look at the wicket and then I look to solve the problem from there. I am not a one-trick pony, so I will look at different things and different options.”

Meanwhile, Jaiswal said he enjoyed playing in the match and the wonderful battles in it. “One of the best moments when you win for your country. We were focusing on our process, what we can do. Focus on our fielding and follow the process, and it went well.”

“Day four pitch had cracks, there was seam (movement). It’s hard playing the fourth innings. Absolutely different (in playing white ball from red ball), the field, and ball, mindset is different. I try to play my shots and have good intent. The way Bumrah bowled, it was incredible to watch. He bowled really well in the first innings as well. Wonderful team to be part of.”



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