India- Australia Series

Rohit lauds India's emerging Test talent after series win


Publish Date: 18:08 Sunday, February 25, 2024

|| AFP ||

India's skipper Rohit Sharma celebrated the Test series win over England by saying his team's young players had filled the shoes of missing veterans to shine in cricket's toughest format.

India won the fourth Test by five wickets after they pulled off a tricky chase of 192 on day four in Ranchi, with wicketkeeper-batsman Dhruv Jurel (39) and Shubman Gill (52) in an unbeaten stand of 72.

India had slipped to 120-5 but Jurel and Shubman remained calm as the hosts took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series after losing the opener.

Man of the match Jurel, 23, who made his debut in the previous win in Rajkot, turned the match on its head with his 90 after he lifted India from 177-7 in their first innings to 307 on day three.

"Test cricket throws different kinds of challenges, different kinds of pressures," Rohit told reporters. "But the way they have dealt with the pressures throughout the series has been superb."

Usual frontline players such as Virat Kohli and injured KL Rahul were absent from the lineup.

"These guys who have come in have done the job perfectly," Rohit added.

"They have taken the responsibility perfectly... you can take a lot of pride from performances like this with inexperienced players."

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal has been the standout performer with his 655 runs in four matches, including double centuries in the second and third matches.

The 22-year-old, an attacking left-handed batsman who lived in tents and sold street food in Mumbai to pursue his dream, averages over 69 in just eight matches.

Fast bowler Akash Deep, 27, made an instant impact on his debut, rattling England with his three wickets on day one of the Ranchi Test, after pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah was rested.

"Lots of these guys are quite young," Rohit said. "You'll see these guys playing in the coming five to 10 years regularly in this format."

Jaiswal made heads turn in the Indian Premier League with his prolific run-scoring for Rajasthan Royals, where he is teammates with Jurel.

But Rohit said that winning in Test cricket brought extra pressure.

"To get success in this difficult format is not that easy", he said.

Middle-order batsman Sarfaraz Khan, 26, also impressed on debut in Rajkot when he scored 62 and 68 not out in India's 434-run hammering of England.

England captain Ben Stokes offered similar praise for his young players, after bringing in spinners Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir.

Bashir, a 20-year-old lanky off-spinner who missed the opener due to a visa issue, and who took his first five-wicket haul in just his second match, has 12 wickets.

The 24-year-old Hartley, a left-arm spinner, leads the series bowling with 20 wickets ahead of Bumrah with 17.

Stokes said there had been "a lot of question marks around the two selections", but said the choices had been vindicated.

"They'll be able to leave at the end of this tour with their heads held very high", he said.

"For us, as an England team going forward, we've got more exciting talent -- which is a great thing for English cricket."

Stokes said England and India had faced similar challenges.

"It's the same for India, they've had to bring in some inexperienced players," he said.

"It's been great for inexperienced guys coming in, and almost throwing out the theory of needing experience."