Mark Waugh lauds Rohit Sharma's batting on opening day of Border-Gavaskar Trophy
Rohit is closing to his hundred [Associated Press]
Indian captain Rohit Sharma displayed exceptional dexterity with the bat on the opening day of the first India vs Australia Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Amidst the challenging conditions and a formidable opposition, Sharma effortlessly rose to the occasion, exhibiting masterful command over the pitch.
In the final session on Thursday, Sharma appeared to be playing on a different surface. Although Pat Cummins' erratic bowling resulted in several deliveries down leg-stump, Sharma demonstrated his finesse against the rest of the Australian bowlers.
His decisive footwork against the off-spinners, Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy, was a treat to watch, as he capitalized on every scoring opportunity. In just 66 balls, Sharma notched up his fifty, a feat that eluded the Australian batsmen who struggled on the same pitch.
Former Australian opener, Mark Waugh, hailed Sharma's stroke-making and ability to shift the momentum of the game, calling him the 'lynchpin' of the Indian batting line-up. Waugh compared Sharma's and Virat Kohli's playing styles in the longest format, stating that the former India captain has a tendency to 'grind it out' and bat for extended periods.
"Rohit Sharma is the key to the Indian batting. He is a very good player of spin. He has scored so quickly, that's the thing," Waugh said on Star Sports.
"You look at the rest of Indian players, I think Kohli sort of digs in and takes his time but Sharma is one guy who can take the game away from Australia quite quickly. He looked like a different player who was batting on a different surface. It was a classy innings," he added.
The opening day was all about Indian bowlers, spearheaded by the comeback man, Ravindra Jadeja, who returned with a stunning spell of 5 for 57. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also contributed with three wickets, as India bowled out Australia for 177 after they chose to bat first. India ended the day at 77/1 with Sharma batting on 56 nightwatchman Ashwin still to open his account.