India's Rohit says England Tests made him better captain

India's Rohit says England Tests made him better captain

India's Rohit Sharma said Wednesday he had become a better captain over the hard-fought series against England, with the "pressure" of the tour forcing him to reflect on his shortcomings.

Rohit Sharma India test captain

England won the opener of the five-match series but India bounced back to take an unbeatable 3-1 lead ahead of the final match in Dharamsala on Thursday.

"It was a great series for me to learn as a captain and there are a lot of different challenges that came across our way," Rohit told reporters.

"As a captain, I got to learn a lot about how to utilise the players and obviously, when the pressure is put back on you, how to respond to certain situations of the game and things like that. I think it was a great series to be part of.

"I am glad that I was captaining this series, it made me understand where I have lacked as a captain and what are the things I need to do differently."

Rohit succeeded Virat Kohli as Test captain in 2022 and has remained unbeaten as leader in five series, apart from India's loss in the World Test Championship final last year.

Ben Stokes' England won the opening match by 28 runs and kept up their attacking "Bazball" style of play to challenge India, who have not lost a Test series at home since 2012.

India responded despite the absence of stars including Virat Kohli, who sat out the series after the birth of his second child.

Up-and-coming talent made the most of the opportunities, with 22-year-old opener Yashasvi Jaiswal notching double centuries in matches two and three.

Indian bowlers also stood up with pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and veteran spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja all tied at 17 series wickets.

- 'Series of comebacks' -

"Since I became captain, I haven't played with a full team. It's no excuse... work with what you have, keep a good atmosphere and play with freedom," said Rohit.

"Basically it has been a series of comebacks. So throughout the series you must have seen that we have absorbed pressure and put it back on the opposition."

Stokes agreed that India had outclassed England during moments in the series when the game was in the balance.

"India have been better than us in those moments on more than one occasion. It's skill versus skill and in the moments that have mattered, since the first game, India have been better," he said.

But when asked about being outsmarted by Rohit in the series, a visibly flustered Stokes said, "I will let you decide".

The final Test will be a landmark 100th for Ashwin and Rohit was all praise for his veteran "match-winner", who left the third match midway to be with his ailing mother and returned a day later.

"The biggest thing is that he is a big team player and we saw that in the Rajkot Test when it was a difficult situation for him but he called and said 'I want to come back and do something for the team'," said Rohit.

"When you have players like this then your head is held high."



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