After scripting a Test hundred on debut that pulled India out of trouble into a comfortable position, stylish batsman Rohit Sharma Thursday said he shared a special relationship with the iconic Eden Gardens.
"This is where I made my first class (Ranji) debut for Mumbai as well when I started off. If you've noticed, we have won the IPL final here (earlier this year). Also, this was the place where I was given the Mumbai Indians captaincy for the first time," Rohit told mediapersons after day two of the first cricket Test against the West Indies.
Coming into the middle with the hosts struggling at 82/4, Rohit spearheaded an Indian rescue effort to remain unbeaten on 127 at stumps.
He also featured in a 73-run stand with skipper MS Dhoni and an unbroken 198-run partnership alongside Ravichandran Aswhin as India reached 354/6 in reply to West Indies’ first innings score of 234.
"The Eden is really special to me. I really love playing here. I got decent amounts of runs here while playing for Mumbai. I hope it turns out to be better tomorrow," the Mumbaikar told reporters.
The confidence of knowing the Eden wicket at the back of his hand really helped Sharma who said it's always a tricky wicket here as one has to adapt to the conditions. "The wicket was really slow. It was stopping and coming. Once the ball got older, it was not coming on. You got to hold back and play late. I was just trying to do that. Playing on the rise was not an ideal option on this wicket. I just held back a bit and used their pace to advantage.
"It's not an easy wicket. The odd balls were bouncing and turning. You got to plan to play on this wicket. They were bowling quite well when we lost five early wickets. I just wanted to be there and build partnership. I have played Ranji for so many years. I know what it is like in the middle," he said.