Rohit Sharma made first test century against England

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Rohit Sharma

Paisa Wasool. Yes it was a paisa wasool day for the Chennai crowd who got a taste of live action after a long long time. And they were in for a roller-coaster ride, for it was not even five minutes that they had settled into their seats and Shubman Gill was dismissed for a duck. Then fell Cheteshwar Pujara and then….it was skipper Virat Kohli. At 86/3 and the pitch turning square, some of them might have thought ‘well….that will be it.’ But it wasn’t to be. There was a turnaround waiting to happen.

Those initial hours were edge-of-the-seat thriller for these ardent fans. Rohit Sharma kept fishing outside offstump and Ajinkya Rahane was beaten several times in the flight. But they didn’t give in and their persistence paid off once the game progressed into the second session of the day. Rohit started playing the shots after reaching fifty, he deployed sweeps against the likes of Moeen Ali and Jack Leach quite judiciously. There were a couple of anxious overs for Rohit in the nervous nineties but his seventh long-form hundred did arrive after all. Once Rohit got to his century, Rahane got into the act. Both are a product of Mumbai’s ‘Khadoos’ culture and the camaraderie showed. By the time Rohit was caught in the deep, the stand was worth 162 runs and England were pushed onto the back-foot.

However, the visitors came back quickly in the final session as they removed Rohit and Rahane in short-interval. Ravi Ashwin too failed to impress but a cameo from Rishabh Pant (33 off 56) made sure India end the day at 300/6. No doubt, Rohit’s 161 made all the difference. It was a Sehwagesque innings from the 33-year-old as England now find themselves on the defensive. They have already conceded 300 that too on the first day on a wicket that is deteriorating and offering variable turn and bounce. Ashwin, debutante Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav are already licking their lips.

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