Siraj ran through the West Indies batting with figures of 5/60 in the first innings in Trinidad. His spell opened up the Test match after the hosts had lost only four wickets in 67 overs on Day 3. Chasing 365, West Indies were 76/2 at stumps on Day 4. However, no play was possible on the final day of the Test due to rain. The match thus ended in a draw, with India taking the two-match series 1-0.
Siraj was named Player of the Match for his fantastic bowling effort. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Rohit said, "Siraj, I have been watching closely. He's taken such a giant step. He has led this attack. I don't want anyone to lead the attack. I want everyone to lead when they are having the ball in their hand. You want the entire pace battery taking the responsibility.”
While rain denied India a chance to push for a 2-0 result in the series, Rohit was happy with the overall performance of the team. Reflecting on the series and the players’ performances, he commented, "We are in the right place. It's about getting the job done. Every win is different. Playing in the West Indies has its own challenge. Happy with the way things went. We gave it a good shot, unfortunately we couldn't get any play today. We actually went out with a positive intent yesterday.
"Rain had its final say. We were quite confident. You know how difficult it is batting last. We always wanted that kind of score where we wanted the opposition to go for it. There wasn't much on the surface. No play today, unfortunate for us," he added.
The Indian captain also had words of praise for Virat Kohli, who scored a hundred and Ishan Kishan, who hammered his maiden Test fifty, helping India declare in the second innings. Rohit commented that a team needs all kinds of players in different situations.
He said, "You need guys like Ishan. We wanted quick runs, we promoted him, he wasn't afraid. He was the first one to put his hand up. In Test matches, you need guys who stabilise the innings like what Virat did, he played superbly. You need a mixture of everything. We have depth, we have got variety.”
On a personal note, Rohit had a good match, scoring 80 and 57 in the two innings.
--By A Cricket Correspondent