All-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin praised Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, saying that beyond all the tactical nuances brought to play by the newly appointed Test captain, there is a human component. Rohit led India to an innings and 222-run victory in his first Test as captain as India beat Sri Lanka in Mohali last week.
Speaking to BCCI, Ashwin underscored Rohit’s concern for everyone in the team, even as he tried to implement his tactics in the first test against Sri Lanka. The off-spinner talked about how Rohit wanted Ravindra Jadeja hitting his double hundred in the first innings and how he gave overs to third spinner Jayant Yadav towards the end of the Test, even as the senior spin twins ran through the Sri Lankan side.
Ashwin said Rohit thought a lot before explaining the first innings at 574/8 when Jadeja was undefeated at 175 not out, adding that the all-rounder told team management not to wait until he hits the milestone . Jadeja missed his first double centenary but the Indian star became just the 6th cricketer to hit a centenary and make a 5-wicket move in the same Test.
“Rohit, we all know how tactically strong he is and how good he is. But I saw a lot of human elements in the way he managed the team. He was looking out for everyone on the team, how everyone would feel, how everyone’s trust is important for the engine room to work,” Ashwin said.
“The way he wanted to take care of Jayant, the third spinner, was under-bowling, but he wanted to take care of him, wanted to rotate the bowlers. How he kept the fast bowlers from an end throughout the game.
“Even beyond all these tactical things, he kept the game simple. When he was about to call, he wanted Jadeja to get a double hundred. Eventually it was Jaddu who said it doesn’t matter and you should decide to bid.
“So, all those things, I’m sure Rohit is very, very experienced. I thought he did a phenomenal job,” Ashwin added.
ROHIT LIVED HIS DREAM FULLY: ASHWIN
Ashwin himself achieved a major milestone when he surpassed Kapil Dev’s 434 Test wicket tally to become India’s second-most successful Indian bowler in the longest format of the game.
Meanwhile, Ashwin said Rohit enjoyed his debut as captain at the Test and said the newly appointed skipper lived his dream by leading India in the game’s longest format. Rohit took over from Virat Kohli, who stepped down as India’s Test captain in January after a series defeat in South Africa.
“To be captain of India in a Test match is a matter of great pride and honor for any Indian cricketer. As I said, even that wouldn’t have been part of anyone’s dreams, wearing the Indian jersey for a day must have been their dream.
“I’m sure he lived his dream to the fullest that day. At the beginning it was extremely important to win the throw, it was a good throw. Obviously he would enjoy that big lead in his first game as captain,” added Rohit.
Ashwin stressed he was looking forward to Virat Kohli playing his 100th Test at Mohali, adding: “Virat Kohli received the 100th Test match cap from Rahul Bhai. He has his family by his side, his wife by his side. That could have been it was a very special moment for him too. In fact, he went on to say that Rahul Bhai is one of his idols, he has his poster hanging on the wall. Some great memories.”
A confident and well-oiled Indian unit will look to win the Test series 2-0 when they take on Sri Lanka in the Pink Ball Test in Bengaluru.