Eden Gardens pitch not easy to bat on, says Rohit

Due to its variable bounce, the new Eden Gardens pitch was difficult to bat on, Rohit Sharma said after the third day of the second Test between India and New Zealand. Rohit Sharma's 82 allowed India to stretch its lead to 336 in what was a bowler's day.

Rohit Sharma..."We wanted to put the pressure back on New Zealand."   -  K. R. Deepak

After playing an important knock of 82 runs to revive India's second innings from four down for 43, Rohit Sharma said the Eden Gardens pitch was not to be taken for granted as it made batting difficult due to its variable bounce.

>Report: Rohit Sharma puts India in commanding position

“It’s not a typical Kolkata wicket. They have relaid the surface and you may have seen uneven bounce occasionally. At no point the batsmen could relax and take it for granted. Every ball you played, you had to give more than 100 per cent for that ball,” said Rohit after the third day's play on Sunday.

About his 103-run seventh wicket stand with Wriddhiman Saha, Rohit said, “Saha and I decided we had to play each ball on its merit and not to think too far ahead. We focussed on the present. We lost a few wickets initially and it was all about building a partnership. Saha and myself, the 100-run partnership was crucial to the team. Once we got in, we played our shots as well and we wanted to put the pressure back on New Zealand.”

On his partnership with Virat Kohli, Rohit said, “As a non-striker, I was just hoping that he gets through that (tough) period...But Virat being an aggressive player he played some wonderful shots which were good to so from the non-striker's end.”

Often criticised for his “attitude” in Test cricket, Rohit asserted that he was under no pressure to perform. “It only comes from the media that I'm under pressure...Even the first Test, I got runs.”

Rohit informed that Shikhar Dhawan, who was hit on his left hand by Trent Boult deliveries, visited a hospital for a scan of his thumb.

New Zealand pacer Trent Boult said his team did its best to restrict the Indian batsmen. “We are trying to apply the pressure for as long as we can and not let off at all throughout the whole innings. But we know they are going to put partnerships together and we just can't afford to get frustrated by that.”

On Rohit's innings, Boult said, “I couldn't see a change in his game but he applied himself very well and made some good decisions. He was tested there throughout his whole innings. A lot of credit to him on a wicket that is going up and down and a little bit of reverse swing there at the end.”

'Tough conditions'

Boult said the pitch and the weather posed tough challenges. “In terms of the track there is a little bit of variation in bounce and that is obviously going to be in the back of a few of our minds. We have to take it small steps at a time.

“I have to put these down as some of the tougher conditions I've ever played in in my career. The dryness in the wicket and in the air is pretty tough. The last session is probably the easiest session in terms of heat. You are just sapped by the time that comes around,” he said.