The Mumbai duo ensured India ended the opening day with the upper hand, at 300 for 6, after Shubman Gill (0), Cheteshwar Pujara (21) and skipper Virat Kohli fell cheaply. Rohit was dismissed when he swept Moeen Ali straight to a fielder in the deep.
Speaking at the end of the day’s play, Rohit admitted that they were aware the pitch would turn from the start, and hence decided to be positive. "We knew about how the pitch was prepared. We knew it was gonna turn and so we had a good few training sessions before the game began and we trained according to what we were going to expect in the middle," said Rohit at the virtual press conference.
"So basically using you feat a lot more, making sure you sweep the ball and those kinds of things when you play on turning pitches. You gotta be proactive. You should be on top of the bowler making sure you are ahead of him was very crucial," he added.
Explaining how he dealt with the tough pitch, the 33-year-old stated that little mental and technical adjustments did the trick for him. "So little adjustment based on that and understanding if the ball is turning how big is the turn whether it is bouncing or whether it is keeping low. Those were the things that I was thinking about before playing any shot," the limited-overs vice-captain added.
"So yeah, mentally before the game I was prepared of what I will be facing the ones I get in and I think the preparation really helped in terms of getting out there and playing shots," he further said.
Following the big partnership between Rohit and Rahane, England fought back hard in the final session to dismiss Rohit, Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin (13).
India went to stumps at 300 for 6, with Rishabh Pant unbeaten on 33 and Axar Patel not out on 5. For England, spinners Jack Leach and Moeen Ali picked up two wickets each.
--By A Cricket Correspondent