India opener Rohit Sharma stole the show on the third day of the fourth Test against England at The Oval, by smashing his maiden overseas Test century. He played a scintillating knock of 127 runs off 256 balls to place India at a commanding position in the ongoing face-off. His innings was laced with 14 fours and a six.
This was Rohit's 8th hundred in the longest format of the game. However, it took him 8 years to notch up triple figures on foreign soil. After the knock he played on Saturday, Rohit said he knew the opener's role was his last opportunity to succeed in Test cricket. While addressing a virtual post-match presser, he added that he was ready to make it count when he was given the responsibility back in 2019.
"In the back of my mind, I knew this was the last chance for me (Tests), trying another position in the batting order. When the offer came to me to open the batting, I was very much aware of it because the talks were happening within the management at some stage," Rohit said.
"I batted in middle order before and things didn't go as per the way I wanted it to and I knew this was my last opportunity to try out and you know management is thinking whatever I want to try.
"When you are playing a sport, you always have to take those chances, those risks and so I was ready for it and didn't come to me as a surprise. It would have been my last opportunity if I wouldn't have succeeded. Anything could have happened," he added.
Rohit further mentioned that the team management had told him that he will get a long rope.
"That (about it being his last opportunity) was my feeling. I don't know about others because the team management told me I will have a long run. But I wanted to think in a way that this is it. I have to make good use of this opportunity and for that I have to do whatever it takes," said Rohit.
While Rohit slammed a gritty century, Cheteshwar Pujara contributed a useful 61 in India's commendable second innings score of 270 for 3 against England at stumps on the third day of the fourth Test.
India now have a lead of 171 runs with two days of play left and skipper Virat Kohli (22*) at the crease with Ravindra Jadeja (9*).