“At no given point, it looked like he was confused or thinking too much. He was very clear with his plans, and when you trust your plans, it works. I thought today was his day, and he made it count,” Rohit said.

Rohit scored 83 and added 126 for the opening wicket with Rahul, who ended the first day of the second Test unbeaten on 127. “Once you play and get the feel of the pitch and conditions, then maybe you can try and play some shots.”

“We respect the conditions here, and it’s also important to go out and implement plans. That is something we as a batting group have done reasonably well — right from Australia tour to today,” he said.

Rohit was pleased with the way both Indian openers negotiated the new ball in overcast conditions. “That’s the challenge of Test cricket. You may have a lot of shots in your book, but when you know that conditions are against you, you have to keep talking to yourself, and you have to cut down the unnecessary shots, especially with the new ball,” Rohit explained.

Asked what kind of discussions he had with Rahul as the duo opened in England for the first time, Rohit said,

“Honestly, there was no discussion as KL was not supposed to play the first game and Mayank (Agarwal) was supposed to play this game.”

Mayank Agarwal sustained an injury during net practice and was side-lined, giving way to Rahul. “Yes, the first time I have played with KL in Test cricket, but I have batted with him several times”, he said.

“Battling testing conditions can feel very lonely, and if the batting partner is communicative, it makes the job a lot easier. Our batters understand their role now which is the most important thing, and I think they are playing by their roles.”



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