‘In my eyes, we won the series 2-1’: Rohit Sharma proud of India's Test success in UK

Mumbai Indians captain says his best is yet to come after his exploits in Test series against England

A month is a long time in the life of an Indian cricket superstar. Given what has happened in the time since, Rohit Sharma might easily have forgotten what the warm glow of a job well done feels like.

It is 28 days now since the opener was handed the player of the match award while India’s supporters wildly celebrated the fact that their side had just taken London.

A 157-run win at The Oval, coupled with an equally-spellbinding success at Lord’s, had given the tourists a 2-1 lead over England, with one Test to play.

They were the best of days for India’s Test team, and for Rohit himself. He had topped the series averages for his team, on the back of scoring his first Test century away from India.

Even then, there were signs the immediate future was going to be a troubled one. Four of India’s backroom staff were isolating with Covid, most notably coach Ravi Shastri.

In the days that followed, India’s players became increasingly tense about the Covid situation, and opted out of playing the final Test – despite already being on site at Old Trafford.

They hastily beat a path to the UAE for their next bio bubble, and the resumption of the Indian Premier League.

Rohit has happy memories in the Emirates, having set the seal on yet another IPL triumph with Mumbai Indians last year.

But this time round has been a challenge for the league's most successful side, as they have lost four of five matches since the resumption.

Mumbai need two wins from two games, starting against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday evening, to keep their title defence alive. Even then, they could conceivably be beaten to a playoff place.

If Rohit is feeling the strain, he does not show it. And as he considers what went before, a satisfied grin adorns his face.

“It was a good [tour] for me, based on where I was standing with my Test cricket before that,” Rohit said.

“I wouldn’t say this was my best. I know my best is yet to come in Test cricket. That is how I would like to think.

“But it was a great tour personally for me, and also for the team as well.”

Despite their excellence, the India players departed the UK amid some criticism. Some, including former England Test captain Michael Vaughan, suggested the decision to abort the last Test was driven by a desire to safeguard lucrative IPL contracts.

The final match is scheduled to be played. It is pencilled in for next summer, although whether it is a one-off fixture, or counts as the decider for this summer’s series, remains a moot point.

“We don’t know what has happened with the last Test match, whether we have won the series, or whether we will play that one-off Test match later,” Rohit said.

“I don’t know what is happening. In my eyes we have won the series 2-1. That is how I would like to look at it.”

Whatever is decided, Rohit can look back at a summer of achievement. One in which he established one and for all his credentials as a Test opener, in a country which is often said to be the most challenging for that particular discipline.

“For me, it was great challenge,” Rohit said, during a press conference via Zoom on behalf of Adidas.

“I think I overcame that challenge well. For that, I did a lot of preparation. We were there 15 to 20 days before the World Test Championship started, and I utilised that time well.

“I know when you are playing in England what sort of mind set, and what sort of little technical adjustments you need to do. I managed to do that.

“I was pretty happy with how I batted on the tour. I would like to take the confidence from there and take it forward into my future series as well.”

Updated: October 4th 2021, 11:35 AM
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