Board President XI vs South Africa: Rohit Sharma out for duck in first match as red-ball opener in practice match
BP XI vs South Africa: Rohit Sharma, who walked out to open the batting with Mayank Agarwal – this will be India’s opening pair in the first Test at Visakhapatnam on October 2 – was removed by Vernon Philander in the second over of Board President’s XI innings.Updated: Sep 28, 2019, 13:53 IST
Rohit Sharma’s worst nightmares came true as he was dismissed for a second-ball duck on his first innings as a designated opener in red-ball cricket on day 3 of the three-day practice match between India’s Board President XI and South Africa at Vizianagaram on Saturday. Rohit, who walked out to open the batting with Mayank Agarwal – this will be India’s opening pair in the first Test at Visakhapatnam on October 2 – was removed by Vernon Philander in the second over of Board President’s XI innings.
Rohit, who is also captaining the BP XI side, which is also the only practice match before the real deal begins on October, has been selected as a designated opener in Tests for the first time in his career. He replaced KL Rahul at the top after the Karnataka batsman’s inconsistent show with the bat.
“We are definitely looking at him (Rohit) and want to give him an opportunity up the order. We want to see where he stands and then take a call. We have seen that in white ball cricket and if he can replicate that in red ball cricket, nothing like it,” India’s chairman of selectors MSK Prasad had said.
Naturally, all eyes were on India’s limited overs vice captain Rohit Sharma to see how he goes in the practice match.Rohit however, squandered opportunity of gaining some confidence going into the Test series.
Earlier, South Africa declared the innings at 279 for 6 after resuming the day at 199 for 5. Temba Bavuma gave a account of himself by scoring an unbeaten 87. All-rounder Vernon Philander scored a quickfire 48 off 49 balls before being dismissed left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja.
This was BP XI’s only success of the day. Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur once again failed to impress as they were hit for boundaries by both Bavuma and Philander. Umesh ended up figures of 11 overs 56 for 1 and Sharul gave away 47 runs in his 13 overs without taking a wicket.
For India, spinner Jadeja was the lone bright spot, who picked three wickets in his 12 overs. But he too was guilty of giving away far too many runs - 66 - for comfort.
After the first day’s play washed out due to rain, opener Aiden Markram stole the limelight on the second day. He struck his second successive hundred in as many games. Markram had earlier scored 161 for South Africa A against India A in a first-class game last week.
On the day, he retired after completing his hundred in a game which has not been accorded first-class status. Markram’s innings was an attacking one as he faced 118 deliveries, hitting 18 boundaries and two sixes.