Rohit on Jaiswal: ‘At no stage did he go away from his plans’

Jaiswal’s innings, lasting 501 minutes and 387 balls, was the longest by an India Test debutant, and Rohit watched a large part of it from the other end during an opening stand of 229.

“He’s got the talent,” Rohit said of Jaiswal. “We knew about it. He’s shown us in the past couple of years that he’s ready for this big stage. Came and batted sensibly, showed a lot of patience, and the temperament was tested as well – at no stage [did it look] like he was panicking or going away from his plans, which was good to see.”

Rohit, who experienced scoring a century on Test debut against West Indies a decade ago, said all he told Jaiswal during their partnership was that he belonged at the Test level.

“In the middle, it was just about having a chat, letting him know, ‘You belong here.’ That is the most important thing, because when you’re playing your first Test match, you kind of keep asking yourself whether you belong here or not, but my job from the other side was to just keep telling him, ‘You’ve done all the hard yards, it’s just about enjoying your time in the middle. Don’t worry about the results, just enjoy your time, and if you do that the results will flow.'”

India had two debutants in Dominica, the other being the keeper-batter Ishan Kishan who spent 145.2 overs waiting for his turn to bat, and only got to spend seven overs at the crease before Rohit declared. The declaration came two balls after Rohit had indicated from the dressing-room balcony that it was imminent. That early warning gave Kishan just enough time to work Alzarri Joseph off his hip for a single and get off the mark in Test cricket, off the 20th ball he had faced.

“I was just letting them know that we probably have an over or so and then we’re declaring,” Rohit said. “I just wanted Ishan to get off the mark, because he had probably played close to 15-20 balls without getting off the mark, so I wanted to tell him, get your first runs in Test cricket and then we have to declare.

“I can understand, playing your first Test match, you have a lot of nerves going around, and I could see, he was sitting there in the dressing room, entire [second] day, wanting to go out to bat, so I know the feeling, but I was just letting him know that we probably have an over or two and then we’re going to declare.”

On a pitch with slow but sharp turn, the biggest match-winners, inevitably, were R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who shared 17 of the 20 wickets India took, with Ashwin claiming match figures of 12 for 131, his best in overseas Tests.

“The results speak for themselves,” Rohit said of the two spinners. “Both of these guys have been doing it for a while for us now. They know exactly what is expected out of them. There’s not much to tell them [about] what we need to do. It’s just about going to them and giving them that freedom to go and express, because that is when they’re doing their best for the side as well.

“When you have the kind of experience that these guys have, bowling on pitches like this, it’s always a luxury, but yeah, you’ve got to come out and pitch it in the area that you want, and get the pitch to do the rest. Both Ashwin and Jadeja were magnificent in the game, especially Ashwin. To come out and bowl like that shows his class.”

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