Rohit Sharma singles out this Australian player for big praise after WTC final
In obvious pain at the loss in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) at The Oval, Rohit Sharma took time out to acknowledge one of Australia's match-winners for the contest. The Indian skipper heaped effusive praise on the impressive cricketer and went to the extent of suggesting his batters should've followed suit to the approach on display from the Australian.
The player Rohit was lavishing words of compliment to was middle-order maverick Travis Head, whose terrific counterattacking hundred on Day 1 of the Test match played a decisive role in asserting fortunes for the game.
Walking in to bat with Australia vulnerably positioned at 76/3, Head put the pressure back on the Indian pace attack by playing a floury of quality strokes. He operated at better than a run-a-ball in at the start of his innings and ultimately finished with an impactful 163 off 174 deliveries.
Head's brilliance combined with the great Steve Smith's resolute century helped Australia post a gigantic 469 in the first-innings despite top and tail end collapses to take a firm grip of the encounter. Rohit, who had the best seat in the house to watch the Head-Smith partnership, insisted the left-hander's ability to play an aggressive game was missing within the Indian ranks with the bat.
Rohit Sharma's glowing praise for Travis Head after WTC final
Speaking to the press after the 209-run defeat in the WTC final, India's second consecutive loss in two years at the summit clash, Rohit Sharma pointed out Travis Head's approach and mindset as the difference between the two sides.
Rohit said when bowlers are the top of their games, it becomes critical to put their lengths off and not to allow them to dictate terms, which is what Head imbibed in his ideology for the innings and smashed an inconsistent Indian attack for 25 fours and 1 six during his stay in the middle.
"If somebody is bowling a really good spell, you try and respect that. But otherwise, you have to try and do something different just to break the bowler's rhythm. And that is what Travis Head did. He came and played some shots. And he really got them out of that discomfort zone where after the lunch - we got wicket in the second over first ball," Rohit said.
"We really thought we were, you know, quite in the game and then the way Travis Head came and played, he completely took the game away from us. And that is what we want to do as well. When you know the pitch is good, sometimes you have to let your instinct take those calls in the middle," he added.