Rohit Sharma Evolves as a Leader Amidst India's Comeback Against England

Rohit Sharma Evolves as a Leader Amidst India's Comeback Against England

India's Test captain, Rohit Sharma, has emerged as a more astute leader during the fiercely contested series against England. The demanding nature of the tour forced him to reflect on his shortcomings and make necessary adjustments.

Despite England's victory in the opening Test, India rallied to secure an insurmountable 3-1 lead heading into the final encounter in Dharamsala. Rohit, who took over as Test captain from Virat Kohli in 2022, has maintained an unbeaten record in five series, excluding India's defeat in the World Test Championship final last year.

Under Ben Stokes' leadership, England adopted an aggressive "Bazball" style of play, winning the opening match by a margin of 28 runs and challenging India. However, India managed to counter despite the absence of key players, including Kohli, who opted to skip the series following the birth of his second child.

The series witnessed the emergence of young talent, exemplified by 22-year-old opener Yashasvi Jaiswal's remarkable double centuries in the second and third matches. In the bowling department, Indian players excelled, with pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and veteran spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja each accumulating 17 wickets in the series.

"Since I became captain, I haven't played with a full team. It's no excuse... work with what you have, keep a good atmosphere and play with freedom," Rohit told reporters.

"Basically it has been a series of comebacks. So throughout the series you must have seen that we have absorbed pressure and put it back on the opposition."

"It was a great series for me to learn as a captain and there are a lot of different challenges that came across our way," added Rohit.

"As a captain, I got to learn a lot about how to utilise the players and obviously, when the pressure is put back on you, how to respond to certain situations of the game and things like that. I think it was a great series to be part of."

"I am glad that I was captaining this series, it made me understand where I have lacked as a captain and what are the things I need to do differently."

Stokes agreed that India had outclassed England during moments in the series when the game was in the balance.

"India have been better than us in those moments on more than one occasion. It's skill versus skill and in the moments that have mattered, since the first game, India have been better," he said.

But when asked about being outsmarted by Rohit in the series, a visibly flustered Stokes said, "I will let you decide".

The final Test will be a landmark 100th for Ashwin, and Rohit was all praise for his veteran "match-winner", who left the third match midway to be with his ailing mother and returned a day later.

"The biggest thing is that he is a big team player and we saw that in the Rajkot Test when it was a difficult situation for him but he called and said 'I want to come back and do something for the team'," said Rohit.

"When you have players like this then your head is held high."

Tags: #Cricket, #India, #England, #TestSeries, #RohitSharma

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