Didn’t expect Aussies to collapse in one session: Rohit Sharma

NEW DELHI: Former Australia players and media might have slammed the Nagpur rank turner even before the first Test but their inability to tackle spin leaves serious questions about their preparation for the India tour.
India captain Rohit Sharma also expressed his surprise over the way star-studded Australia crumbled in just one session and bowled all out for just 91 in their second essay to hand the hosts innings and 132 runs win.
“No, I didn’t,” is what the skipper said when asked if he expected the match to end well inside three days.
“We were prepared to have hard day’s bowling, spending session after session. We never thought they would get bowled out in a session.
“As you saw, the pitch became slower and slower and there was no bounce on the pitch, so it was a bit of surprise for me,” the Indian skipper said at the post-match press conference.
There was a lot of pre-match talk from the Australian media with one leading newspaper terming the Jamtha track as “systematically doctored” while other termed it “dodgy” even before a ball was bowled.
The calm Indian skipper in his own inimitable manner rubbed it in when asked if he found his team to be mentally tougher than Australia.
“I don’t know the mental status of the Australian team. I can vouch for our team and we are the ones who want to play on pitches like these and not just from now, we have been playing on pitches like these for last 3-4 years,” the skipper said.
He continued with his sarcastic way of saying things.
“Because we have all grown up playing on pitches like these, so there is no talk about pitches anymore in the changing room.”
For the Indian skipper, preparation whether for a cricket match or in any aspect of life is key to success.
“I give a lot of credit to training sessions in Civil Lines before we came here. We had four or five net sessions and prepared the kind of pitch we were supposed to get here.
“Whether going down the track or sweeping, reverse sweep, hitting over top, when you prepare well, you get confidence and not just in cricket but everywhere,” he stated.
During the historic series of 2021, India came back after being shot out for 36 in the first Test. An Australian scribe asked if their team can turn it around?
“It’s a good question,” Rohit said, smiling wryly.
“Australia are always a good team. A lot of guys who played in that series are not there for Australia also. Australia love playing Test cricket and they take pride in representing the country and so we are quite aware of them bouncing back and what they can do as team as well.
“We want to play the cricket we are playing and we would continue to do that in three games that we have. As captain, I need to focus on what we have in Delhi and then move on from there,” he added.
(With PTI Inputs)

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