Rohit Sharma backed R Ashwin after the Indian off-spinner took a break due to a family emergency amid the 3rd Test against Ben Stokes’ England at the Niranjah Shah Stadium in Rajkot.
After Day 2, it was learnt that Ashwin had left the Indian team to be there for his family. In his absence, India had only 4 specialist bowlers; Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja, who operated against a strong English batting lineup.
Ashwin, who completed 500 Test wickets on Thursday, returned on Day 4 of the Test match and picked up the wicket of Tom Hartley. | IND vs ENG, 3rd Test scorecard
Rohit said that Ashwin was well within his rights to take time out for his family amidst his cricketing assignments.
“When you lose your most experienced bowler in the middle of a Test match, it’s not easy. But everything aside, family comes first. And when we heard the news, there were no second thoughts in our minds that he should do what he felt was right,” Rohit said in the post-match press conference.
“He wanted to be with the family, which was absolutely the right thing to do. It was good for him and to make a way and be a part of the team shows the character and the kind of person he is. We were happy to have him back,” he said.
‘Thought the game would go to day 5’
Rohit was also surprised as India took only 4 days to beat England by a mammoth margin of 434 runs. The skipper admitted that he expected the match to go to the last day. After setting a massive target of 557 for the Three Lions to chase down, India bowled their opponents out for 122.
“I thought the game would go to day five, we thought 150 overs would be comfortable for us to get them out. It was more about having overs (in hand) and not runs. By no means, I expected the game to get over so soon,” Rohit said.
Rohit, however, refrained from speaking much about Yashasvi Jaiswal, who scored a spectacular double hundred on Day 4 and is also the leading run-scorer of the series.
“Let Yashasvi Jaiswal play, he is in good form. Everyone is talking about him, I won’t say much,” he added.
India will be looking to seal the fate of the series when they take part in the 4th Test, starting February 23 at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi.