With Rohit Sharma’s 80-run innings India in the second innings scored 227 at the end of the third day of Kolkata Test, India is currently having a 339 runs lead.
But following Indian seamers’ great performance that helped India to bowl out New Zealand for 204 runs, India got off to a shaky start as Matt Henry and Trent Boult bowled with searing pace and got an uneven bounce.
Captain Virat Kohli played a struggling 45 run innings and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and Bhuvneshwar Kumar ended the day with 39 not out and 8 not out respectively.
It was Rohit Sharma’s quick innings that helped India to salvage the shrinking ship and wrestle back the advantage in the match.
“Yes they were (tough conditions to bat). Important (innings) from team’s perspective. We lost some wickets and we wanted to build partnerships. Virat got out at the wrong time to a ball not expected to get him out.” Rohit said at the post-match press conference.
Talking about the condition of the pitch when he and Saha made a 103 runs partnership that snatched away the advantage from New Zealand.
“We have got. won’t say a tailender.. but a lower-middle order batsman out there who’s capable of delivering goods for the team. Saha and I discussed playing each ball to its merit and not think too far ahead. We are glad that we could get a 100+ partnership. 340 lead is good enough but we have two more batsmen to come. Every time I get an opportunity, I try to enjoy and not think about what is happening outside. I try to do the things under my control,” Rohit explained.
The Mumbaikar also thanked the Indian team management as they trusted on Rohit and gave him one more opportunity to prove him.
“Good to see the faith shown by management but it’s all about going out there and scoring the runs for your team at crucial times. Was a good feeling to get some runs. The job is not done yet and we have two important days coming up, and we have to stay focused. We have seen over the last two days that there’s something in the wicket. You have to be tight. You can’t just play your shots; you have to understand the wicket. Put the loose balls away. It was important to rotate strike, once I was in, and not do what they wanted us to do. Rotating the strike helped us playing our shots later. I think I got out at the wrong time again but Saha is there, and we know Bhuvneshwar can bat too. Looking forward to some crucial runs tomorrow morning.”
Meanwhile, local boy Wriddhiman Saha got another opportunity to prove himself in front of local fans as he in the first innings scored a 54 that helped India to cross 300 run marks. Now on day four, he will resume with his 39* and will seek his half century before captain Kohli declares the innings or more likely India getting all-out.