At-Ease Rohit Aces 'is The Biggest Challenge' Test > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - At-ease Rohit aces 'most challenging' test

Rohit scored his maiden double hundred in Tests in Ranchi.

Rohit Sharma, at this stage of his international career with plenty of experience behind him, is at ease with himself. It's not always been the case, but you certainly get that sense watching him go about his business now.

A relaxed mental make-up coupled with the opportunity to open the innings, things may finally be coming together after a stop-start Test career wherein his inconsistency was attributed not to the lack of ability, but temperament. A perfect storm, if you will, but in a good way.

"Look, in Test cricket, I think even I started at six, initially, then came up to four, I think it's more of a mental change," India captain Virat Kohli had said on Rohit's promotion prior to the series. "The moment you convince yourself that, yes, I'm good enough to do this. And once you put that thought in your head, then your game follows accordingly."

Twin hundreds and a double hundred would probably testify that Rohit has drilled that thought into his head, after being mentally ready for a move that's been in the works for a while.

But as easy as it is to get carried away with these staggering exploits, Rohit knows better. "Right now I've played only three Test matches as an opener, so long way to go now," Rohit said on Sunday (October 20) after his maiden double hundred. "So I'm not reading too much into these three Test matches, of course I'll take a lot of positives from it. But I'm not reading too much into it."

Still, it was a sizeable challenge that was at hand in Ranchi. Hurting after a lacklustre series, Kagiso Rabada had cranked it up with the new ball yesterday and along with Anrich Nortje, reduced India to a worrisome 39/3. However, Rohit managed to navigate through the tough period. He absorbed the initial pressure before turning it on in style, emerging triumphant with a maiden double hundred. Apart from being his highest score in Tests, Rohit - who admittedly hasn't 'played much' - also rated it as his 'most challenging' knock.

There are greater challenges to be encountered no doubt, and those will be dealt with much in the same manner as his promotion to the top of the order has, by keeping things simple.

"There's nothing in particular that I've done in terms of technique," Rohit said. "But of course I know the basics of the game - what you need to do as an opener in whichever format you bat. Because the new ball does something, whatever conditions you play. We saw probably in Ranchi and Pune, it did quite a bit than overseas conditions as well - for example Australia or something else. So new ball wherever you play, you have to have some sort of understanding about your game. Understanding the basics of the game, rather. Which ball you have to play at, which ball you have to leave. Certain aspects of the game, you have to be mindful of. I was just trying to be mindful of that.

"I was allowing myself to take time, rather than going after the bowlers straightaway. Because with the new ball, of course it's not a good idea. As compared to No. 6, the ball is older, softer. You got to play with a little low backlift and there are a lot of things like that, especially I'm talking about these Indian conditions. But of course when you go outside, it's a different ball game. So yeah, that's a challenge I'm awaiting."

This is not about making up for lost time for Rohit Sharma. He has left those frustrations behind him, he's learnt to take things in his stride, he 'isn't thinking too much about records', and is certainly not going to fret it when held off on 199* for the lunch break because "that's the nature of the game. You can't do anything about it."

No, this Rohit is at ease. "I just went back happy, you know, 199 not out, I'd take that any day."

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