Openers in cricket set the tone and face maximum uncertainties, their role is defined. They have to provide a solid start to the team. This requires a whole of mental toughness, technique, and courage. Indian openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma did just that and proved why they are so trusted as a batting unit. They didn’t throw away their wicket which happens a lot when batsmen are batting in the overnight situation.
Of course, both of the openers got beat on some deliveries but it is very usual in English conditions. They also edged some deliveries, there was a catch dropped by Rory Burns on the batting of Rohit Sharma. The ball hit the foot of Burns and since he misjudged the ball coming towards him, he wasn’t able to grab him. So, yes, Indian openers did have luck in their favor but the bottom line remains that they remained not out. They were able to play out those overs.
Indian Openers doing their job to perfection
This will highly boost the confidence of both Rahul and Rohit and also they know now how the pitch is doing, how the ball behaves when it comes off the pitch towards the batsman. This feedback will immensely help them in today’s play. The most impressive aspect of their batting was their intent. When the batsman is batting in the last half-hour or so of the day, many thoughts keep wondering in their mind. Whether they should play to survive the remaining overs, they are worried about giving away the wicket and eventually the lead to the opposition. Also, whether they should rather play their natural game.
These thoughts result in confusion of the batsman and they end up giving away their wicket. Mostly, it happens due to the half-hearted shots they end up playing in such confusion.
However, the Indian openers didn’t entertain such thoughts and played their natural game. Both tried to play shots, go after the ball. The run rate itself was nearly 3 per over. So, all in all, the Indians openers performed their job to the best of their abilities. In the previous matches, the top-order batsmen were trying to leave the deliveries when the new ball was on. But this time, India gave a strong message to the England team that we are here to win the match, we must score runs for it and so we will.
This innings might change the whole momentum of the series. If India is able to score high runs here, go well beyond the lead of England, and pose a challenging total, the whole flow of the game will turn on India’s side. And a challenging total will impose pressure on the England batsmen, which might break them. Since no other batsman than Joe Root has been consistent in the series.