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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

India vs South Africa: Rohit Sharma achieves historic first with back-to-back centuries in Vizag

Rohit was promoted to the openers spot by the team management and he justified their trust with a magnificent display in the Test.

cricket Updated: Oct 05, 2019 16:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Delhi
India's Rohit Sharma raises his bat after scoring a century during the first test match against South Africa in Visakhapatnam.
India's Rohit Sharma raises his bat after scoring a century during the first test match against South Africa in Visakhapatnam.(AP)
         

Rohit Sharma has been much-maligned for his inefficient display in Test matches. Even though he has achieved great heights in his limited-overs career, Rohit has never been able to stake his claim in the Indian Test side. But this was before the first Test against South Africa in Vishakhapatnam. Rohit was promoted to the openers spot by the team management and he justified their trust with a magnificent display in the Test.

After a stupendous 176 in the first innings, Rohit followed it up with another ton in the second innings. Rohit also became the first batsmen in the history of the game to score centuries in both innings while opening for the first time in Tests. Rohit has long underachieved in the longest format of the game in his career but the elevation to the opener’s slot has worked wonders for him.

READ | Rohit copies Harbhajan, invites him to bowl; off-spinner gives hilarious reply

This was Rohit’s fifth hundred in Tests and with this ton he became the second Indian opener to hit centuries tons in both the innings of the Test after Sunil Gavaskar. Rohit eventually got out after scoring 127 runs which included 7 sixes.

Hindustantimes

Rohit also holds the record for most sixes in a Test match in India. The stylish right-hander had hit six maximums in the first innings and then hit four more in the second to break Navjot Singh Sindhu’s record, who hit eight sixes in Lucknow Test against Sri Lanka in 1994.

Matthew Hayden, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Ajinkya Rahane take the tied third spot as all four of them hit seven sixes during their respective Test matches. Rohit now tops this illustrious list by breaking Sidhu’s 25-year-old record.

Vizag Test is Rohit’s first outing in the longest format where he has opened the innings for India and he has been a revelation. He slammed a majestic 176 to help India post in excess of 500 while in the second innings, he once again came up with the goods with the bat. Speaking at the end of opening day, Rohit revealed what worked for him in the first innings.

Also Read: R Ashwin 1 wicket away from Muralitharan’s World Record

“I think it suits my game, just wear the pads and bat. Waiting game, when I used to bat at five or six number, I won’t say it didn’t suit my batting. Your mind is fresh, we know we have to play the new ball. You know the bowlers who are bowling with the new ball do, so the game plan is easier for you. You know you have to face the new ball and these will be the fielders. At six, the ball is reversing, field placement is different and you need to keep all those things in mind. That game of wearing the pads and going in to bat suits my game,” said Rohit.