Rohit Sharma lauds India’s young brigade after series win over England

Ranchi, Feb 26 (UNI) Captain Rohit Sharma was all praise for the youngsters who stepped up throughout the course of the series against England, which India clinched 3-1.

India have been without several of their key players throughout the series against England. Mohammad Shami was sidelined for the entire series due to injury, and Virat Kohli took a leave of absence after the birth of his second child.

KL Rahul only participated in the first match, sitting out the subsequent Tests due to a quad injury. Ravindra Jadeja (hamstring injury) and Jasprit Bumrah (rested) were also absent from the second and fourth Tests respectively.

In the absence of these established players, a number of young talents seized the opportunity. Yashasvi Jaiswal, with two double centuries in the series, currently leads the run-scoring charts in the ongoing World Test Championship cycle.

Sarfaraz Khan made an impactful debut in Rajkot, scoring twin fifties, while Dhruv Jurel showcased maturity beyond his age in a Player of the Match-winning performance in Ranchi.

Rohit Sharma showered praise on the young unit, expressing confidence in their potential to contribute significantly in Test cricket for a long time to come.

“I have spoken enough about key players missing, so I don’t want to talk about it more. But the guys who have come in have done the job perfectly, they have taken the responsibility,” Rohit said in the post-match press conference.

“You can take a lot of pride from performances like this. Test cricket throws at you different types of challenges and pressures but the way the youngsters have dealt with it throughout the series has been superb,” he said.

“In a way, you can say that [this series was a glimpse into the future of Indian Test cricket]. Some of these guys are quite young and you will see these guys playing for the coming 5-10 years regularly in this format for sure,” Rohit said.

The pitch, which exhibited turn and variable bounce from the first day, added an extra layer of excitement to the contest.

Spinners dominated the proceedings throughout the Test, accounting for 27 of the 35 wickets that fell. However, there was also something on offer for the pacers, exemplified by a spirited spell from Akash Deep on his debut during Day 1.

Despite the bowling-friendly conditions, batters exhibited patience and determination and were able to extract runs from the pitch.

“It doesn’t matter how the pitch looks, how it plays out matters,” Rohit said talking about the pitch. “The game went on for four days. Turn and variable bounce is the nature of wickets in India and it has been for many years.

“It wasn’t like the batters couldn’t bat at all. If you applied yourself, it wasn’t too difficult to score the big runs. Joe Root scored a century. Dhruv Jurel scored 90 in difficult circumstances,” he said.

“The bowlers though were quite happy to bowl on this track,” Rohit said.

Rohit complimented England, acknowledging their aggressive approach that allowed them to claim victory in Hyderabad and consistently challenge India throughout the series.

“England have come with a plan as to how they want to play their cricket, how they want to bat against our spinners. We saw that in Hyderabad and Rajkot as well. It is important for us to respond to those plans and tactics and I thought our spinners in particular knew what was exactly needed at different times,” he said.

“You have to give credit to Ollie Pope and Ben Duckett for those innings that they played,” Rohit said.

“We knew before the series started that is going to be challenging and England are going to play differently from the teams that have come here. They found some success as well in playing that way but I felt we were quite composed in how we wanted to play and we were rewarded for that,” he added.

The action heads to Dharamsala for the final Test starting March 7 and when quizzed about the possible lineup given India have the series in the bag, the skipper kept the cards close to his chest.

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