Rohit Sharma paces to perfection to finally end his overseas drought | Simon Burnton

  • Thread starter Simon Burnton at the Kia Oval
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Simon Burnton at the Kia Oval

The India opener showed patience then panache to score an overdue first Test century on foreign soil and frustrate England

Depending on how you look at it Rohit Sharma’s first Test century on foreign soil took him about five hours of actual game time, or the 23 hours or so that passed after he first took guard in the glaring late-afternoon sunshine towards the end of day two, or a little under eight years, since he made his debut as a 26-year-old against West Indies in Kolkata in November 2013. Whichever, it was another demonstration that in Test cricket you can never have too much patience, as Sharma will surely have reminded himself when he sent his 256th delivery, the first using the second new ball, steepling to long leg after top-edging a pull shot.

His first 50 had been the slowest of his Test career, taking all of 145 balls, a period of occasional runs but frequent walks. Every batsman develops their own method of mentally resetting between deliveries, and the 34-year-old’s is unusual not in the time he takes but in the distance he covers.

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