India captain Rohit Sharma feels there were no demons in the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium pitch and said that application and planning are important for succeeding on spin-friendly sub-continent wickets. Before the start of the opening Test, which India won by an innings and 132 runs on Saturday, the Australian media had started debating the pitch, stating that the hosts had prepared a rank-turner to unsettle the left-handed batters in the touring side.

But Rohit, who scored 120 runs in India’s 400 all out in reply to Australia’s 177 in the first innings, said a batter needs to adopt a few unorthodox ways to score on such surfaces.

“The last few years, the kind of pitches we are playing in India, you need to have application and some sort of plan to score runs,” said Rohit after India’s win inside three days, which gave them a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

“I’ve grown up playing a lot in Mumbai on surfaces that turns a lot. You need to be slightly unorthodox as well, use your feet. Need to put pressure on bowlers as well by doing something different. And that different could be whatever suits you — using your feet, sweeping, reverse-sweeping.” Rohit was delighted with his century after missing a few Tests in recent past.

“Yeah, it was (a special hundred), considering a lot of things. Start of the series, very important where we stand in the (World Test) championship table, important for us to start well.

“We know playing a series like this, it’s important to start well. Happy I could put up a performance which could help the team. I was unfortunate I had to miss a few Test matches but happy to be back,” he said.

“Since I was appointed Test captain, (I) have played just two Tests. Got Covid in England, missed South Africa, got a freak injury against Bangladesh. Was ready for this one. Things can happen when you play for a long time, but I’ve had injuries in the past, so I know how to come back from them.” Even though Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin sparkled in the spin department, Rohit also credited his opening pace pair — Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj — for providing the perfect start.

“It was the first two overs from the seamers. 2/2 — starting a game like that, you’re in the ascendancy. Opposition is under pressure from there,” he said.

“We know we have quality in our spin department. But the seamers can be threatening as well on a pitch like that.” Australia captain Pat Cummins opined that even though the pitch turned in the first innings, it was not unplayable.

“The game moves pretty quickly here at times in India. They (India) played very well. The spinners are always going to be hard work when it’s spinning. Rohit played very well,” he said.

“The wicket spun (in the first innings) but wasn’t unplayable. (We) should’ve scored 100 more runs. Starting here is tough.” “(Todd) Murphy was fantastic on debut. He’s been very impressive. Bowled plenty of overs,” said Cummins about the debutant off-spinner, who returned with match figures of 7 for 124.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who was named “Player of the Match” for his match haul of 7/81 and a vital 70, said it was dream return to cricket after sitting out for nearly five months following a knee surgery.

“It feels amazing… after five months, give 100 per cent, taking wickets and scoring runs. Feels amazing. I’ve been working hard when I was at NCA, also doing my rehab,” he said.

“(I) would like to thank all the NCA staff, physios, trainers, they have been working hard with me.” The spinner said that, with the ball in hand, he concentrated on hitting the right areas and while batting he kept things simple.

“I looked to bowl in good areas, the ball was spinning, the ball was going straight and also keeping low,” Jadeja said.

“I know the Australians will look to play sweep and reverse sweep. Generally, I look to keep things very simple (with the bat) and not change too much. I focus more on my batting now because it’s crucial number, 5, 6, 7, so have to put myself in a pressure situation.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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