In the first Test against Sri Lanka in Mohali, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin revealed that captain Rohit Sharma wanted all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to complete his double century, but it was Jadeja’s decision to ask the captain to declare the innings rather than wait for him to reach the milestone.
India thrashed Sri Lanka by an innings and 222 runs in the first of the two-Test series, which was played in Mohali. On a spin-friendly surface, India batted first and scored 574/8d. Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari scored 96 runs each, whereas Ashwin scored 61.
Ravindra Jadeja, on the other hand, stole the show with an incredible 175*, his second Test century and bettered his previous best of 100 against the West Indies. Jadeja put together 100-run partnerships with three different batters, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Mohammad Shami, compounding the Sri Lankans’ misery.
Ravichandran Ashwin on Rohit Sharma
While attempting to implement his tactics in the first Test against Sri Lanka, Ashwin told the BCCI how Rohit cared for everyone in the team. The off-spinner discussed how Rohit wanted Ravindra Jadeja to reach his double century in the first innings and how he gave Jayant Yadav, the third spinner, overs near the end of the Test while the senior spin twins were tearing through the Sri Lankan side.
When Jadeja was unbeaten on 175 not out, Ashwin said Rohit thought long and hard before declaring the first innings on 574/8, adding that the all-rounder told the team management not to wait until he reached the milestone. Jadeja fell short of his maiden double century, but he did become only the 6th cricketer to score a century and take five wickets 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 led the side. He was looking out for anyone in the team, how everyone would feel, how everyone’s confidence is important for the engine room to function. The way he wanted to look after Jayant the third spinner was under-bowled but he wanted to look after him, wanted to rotate the bowlers. How he kept the fast bowlers from one end all through the match,” Ashwin said.
“Even beyond all these tactical things, he kept the game simple. When he wanted to declare, he wanted Jadeja to get a double hundred. Eventually, it was Jaddu who said it’s not important and you should go for a declaration. So, all those things, I am sure Rohit is very, very experienced. I thought he did a phenomenal job,” Ashwin added.