Opener Rohit Sharma played a key role with the bat as India registered a thumping 157-run victory over England in the fourth Test at the Oval on Monday (September 6).
The visitors were trailing by 99 runs going into their second innings and needed someone to get a big score. Amid the pressure situation, Rohit stepped up to the plate and slammed a classy 127, his first Test century away from home.
Thanks to his ton, India piled up 466 in their second innings and set a target of 368 for England. On Day 5, the Indian bowlers put on a show to bundle out the hosts for 210.
Speaking after the game, Rohit termed his 8th Test hundred a special one as it put the team in a commanding position.
“I wanted to be on the field as much as I could. That hundred was special. We know how important was the second innings. Virat just mentioned the effort from the batsmen, and as a unit it was really important. It’s my first overseas hundred. Really glad that I could get the team into an important position. The three-figure mark wasn’t in my mind, we knew the pressure on the batting unit so we kept our heads down and batted the situation,” he said at the post-match presentation ceremony after earning the Player-of-the-Match award.
The right-hander added 83 runs for the opening wicket with KL Rahul (46) and then shared a 153-run stand with Cheteshwar Pujara (61) ensure India’s lead in the second innings.
“Once we got the lead, we just wanted to put pressure on the bowlers. I try to contribute for the team, it’s important for me. I know the importance of opening the innings. I am glad I could make it count. It’s always important to embrace the challenge, it’s not going to be easy,” he further added.
Rohit Sharma didn’t take the field in England’s second innings as he was nursing a knee injury after smashing the century.
Talking about his injury, he said: “Looks (his injury) good at the moment, the message from the physio is that we got to assess every minute.”
With this victory, Team India took a 2-1 lead in the five-match Test series. The final Test will be played at Old Trafford from Friday (September 10).