Former Australia captain Ian Chappell on Monday heaped praise on India skipper Rohit Sharma, who scored a century on his return to the Test side in the Border-Gavaskar series-opener in Nagpur last week.
Rohit scored 120 on a pitch where the Aussies struggled to cope with the Indian spinners. The 35-year-old produced a batting masterclass in India's only innings to help the team post 400 and take a massive 223-run lead.
Australia got bowled out for 91 on the third day to lose the first Test by an innings and 132 runs.
Rohit shows how to bat on Indian pitches
A lot was being written and spoken about the pitch at the Vidarbha Cricket Association on how much it would turn and how India always produces such kind of tracks where the opposition team's struggle to put bat to ball.
But Rohit's innings proved all the critics wrong as he batted with patience and managed to score in triple digits.
“The state of the pitch was put into perspective by the Indian captain Rohit Sharma. He played a masterful innings that displayed confidence in his own defence, his wide stroke range on a turning - but not impossible pitch - and his ironclad discipline.
“Not only did Rohit reveal a wide range of shots, he also frustrated the Australian bowlers with the way he only played them when the time was right. He showed all players, home and touring, how to play on Indian pitches, and his example was flawlessly followed by the much improved Ravindra Jadeja,” Chappell wrote in his column for Mid-Day.
The Hitman's record as Test opener
Chappell then went on to explain how Rohit's Test career was revived after he was made to open the batting for India.
Rohit started opening in Tests in 2021 and has since amassed 944 runs in 11 games at an average of over 52 with three centuries and 4 fifties.
His career-defining moment came on the England tour where he was the highest run-scorer for India with 368 runs at 52.57, including a century and two fifties.
"The move to open in Test cricket saved Rohit's career. He looked like he might waste his enormous skill down the order but batting above Virat Kohli has prevented him being overawed by the ex-captain's popularity.
"Captaincy has also played a big part in Rohit's revival; the discipline required to lead a team has added another level to his batting," the former Australian cricketer wrote.
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