For his maiden Test ton away from home, Rohit Sharma earned the Player-of-the-Match award after India’s resounding 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, the right-handed opener stepped up to the plate and slammed a classy 127 to take India to 466, setting a target of 368 for England.
However, Rohit thinks Shardul Thakur should also have been named Player-of-the-Match for his stellar all-round showing in the Test match.
Shardul scored twin half-centuries (57 and 60) in the fourth Test and picked up three wickets as well, including the prized scalp of in-form Joe Root in the last innings.
“I thought Shardul’s was a match-winning effort. To be honest, he deserved the Man of the Match as well for the performance he put. A crucial breakthrough for the team when England were 100 without loss, getting that crucial breakthrough was very important and then getting the wicket of Joe Root as well, he came in and got the wicket,” Rohit Sharma told bcci.tv.
“How can we forget his batting, to come in and score 50 off just 31 balls in the first innings says a lot, he loves his batting and he has worked hard on it, I have seen him over the years.
“He wants to prove a point that he can bat and can give us momentum-changing innings as well. Yes, I got the Man of the Match, but I really feel he should have been part of that as well,” he added.
Chasing the target, the hosts were placed at 131/2 till Lunch on Day 5. But the Indian bowlers turned things around in the second session to bowl England out for 210.
By virtue of this victory, the tourists also took a 2-1 lead in the five-match Test series.
“Very happy. Especially, when you are visiting any of these countries and you know that you are 2-1 up, you will take that any day. It shows the effort that we have put so far in the series and this is not the end, we know there is one more match to go at Manchester,” Rohit said.
“Hopefully, all of us, not just the batting and bowling unit, the entire group can put their foot down and just work towards the goal that we want to achieve as a team, I think we can pull this off. We have done some amazing things on this tour, I still believe we can finish on a high but of course, we need to do things in the manner we have done so far,” he further remarked.
The fifth and final Test will be played at Old Trafford from Friday (September 10).