Rohit Sharma 'was lost' in the debut of all 5 Indian youngsters vs England: 'I played with Sarfaraz Khan's father when…' | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Rohit Sharma 'was lost' in the debut of all 5 Indian youngsters vs England: 'I played with Sarfaraz Khan's father when…'

Mar 21, 2024 06:12 AM IST

Rohit Sharma had a ball leading the bunch of youngsters during the Test series and admitted being touched by the emotions attached with their debuts.

The Test series against England was one of Rohit Sharma's sternest assignments as captain. Not only was he playing all five Tests for the first time in his career, Rohit was leading a team without Virat Kohli and effectively KL Rahul too. Furthermore, with no Shreyas Iyer, the middle-order was inexperienced and fragile, and hence to make up for the void left by Kohli and Rahul, the team management decided to place its bet on a bunch of youngsters. After losing the Hyderabad Test, India handed debuts to five promising talents – Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel, Akash Deep and Devdutt Padikkal – all of whom put up commendable performances except one.

Rohit Sharma hands the trophy to his younger teammates. (PTI)
Rohit Sharma hands the trophy to his younger teammates. (PTI)

Looking back at all five debutants, Rohit admitted he had a blast leading this enthusiastic bunch of youngsters. The India captain revealed that although he had tracked their progress in the domestic circuit, he understood they needed to be dealt with carefully. And as it turned out, Rohit handled the challenge at hand exceedingly well. All five guys had wonderful things to say about their captain, and it wouldn't have been possible without Rohit and coach Rahul Dravid's unparalleled support.

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"I really loved playing with them. All of them are very mischievous. I knew most of them well and what their strengths are and how they want to play the game. It was just for me to give them comfort by talking about how good they are and the good things they have done in the past. The way they responded to me and Rahul bhai (coach Rahul Dravid) was superb," Rohit said on his Instagram handle 'Team Ro'.

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Rohit was gripped by the emotions that surrounded the guys during their debut. In Rajkot, Sarfaraz and his father Naushad Khan couldn't hold back tears as the 26-year-old's dream came true. In Ranchi, it was Akash Deep's turn to touch the feet of his mother on receiving his Test cap. Devdutt Padikkal grabbed the opportunity in the final Test at Dharamsala scoring a fifty. But arguably the one that touched Rohit the most was seeing Sarfaraz hugging his dad as the father-son pair got extremely emotional. Visuals of Naushad's chat with Rohit urging the India captain to 'take care' of his son went viral. And expectedly so, because Rohit and Naushad go back a long way too.

Rohit moved by emotions

"I was lost in the debut of all these boys. Their parents were also there, there were a lot of emotions. I have played with Sarfaraz's father in Kanga league when I was very young. His father was a left-handed batter. He was an aggressive player and very well known in Mumbai cricket circles. I wanted to acknowledge his effort and hard work that had paid off with his son playing for India. I just wanted to tell him that his son's Test cap belongs as much to him as his son," added Rohit.

Barring the five debutants, Yashasvi Jaiswal was another youngster whose form went a long way in ensuring India wrapped up the series 4-1. The 22-year-old peeled off over 700 runs, including two double-centuries and three fifties. In fact, that Jaiswal scored 209 out of India's first innings total of 396 speaks volumes of the one-man army he transformed into in front of England.

"Jaiswal's 209 was more than half the team's score - the next best score was 30-40. We knew if we lost that Test, it would be tough to win three in a row. For us to win that Test was so important. Someone had to bail the team out and Jaiswal and Bumrah stood up," added Rohit.

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