Perhaps it’s attitude more than skills that determine the success of a player. Wasim Jaffer and Rohit Sharma demonstrated it in ample measures in how they conducted themselves in tough and testing conditions on Wednesday.
Unlike other batsmen, from the Railways as well as from their team, the duo remained positive on a difficult wicket, refrained from slipping into defensive mode against incisive spin, and eventually didn’t just survive, but thrived with spectacular half centuries. While Jaffer brought the innings back on track after initial setbacks with a fine 75, Sharma helped the team finish the day with the first innings lead at 248 for 8 with a superb unbeaten 94.
Jaffer stood like a rock in the middle after Railways struck early in the morning to remove opener Sahil Kukreja for nought. With openers gone for just three runs on the board and the Railways spinners, spearheaded by skipper Murali Kartik, tightening the screws, the option to drop anchor was readily available.
The skipper, however, didn’t fall in that trap, and kept dispatching the bad balls to the boundary even as he defended good ones stoutly.
Sensing he would push Mumbai past their first innings total sooner than later, Kartik switched to over—the—stumps, packing the leg side with five and occasionally six fielders to dry up the runs. He played on his patience, and finally drew an unwarranted sweep to trap him leg before and went on to rattle the stumps of Abhishek Nayar
Rohit, however, calmed the frayed nerves with a superb knock. He came out with a positive intent, hitting some breathtaking boundaries.
Brief scores: Railways 1st innings: 187; Mumbai: 248 for 8 (R Sharma 94, W Jaffer 75, Kartik 3/70, Gehlot 2/49).