Rohit Sharma is elated to have made full use of the chance handed out to him during India‘s first Test against South Africa which they went on to win by a crushing margin of 203 runs on Sunday. Rohit, who had a middling success as a middle-order Tes batsman, was promoted to open the innings in Vizag and he struck centuries in each of the two innings, setting base for the big win.

Rohit, who already opens for India in limited-overs cricket, has revealed he was told about an impending batting promotion as far as two years back and that during net sessions, he practices with the new ball. “I just wanted to go out there and do what I do best,” Rohit said of his performance after India wrapped up the win for a 1-0 lead. “It was a great opportunity for me at the top. Thankful for the chance, considering I’ve never done that before. Focus was on winning the Test match and I think we pretty much did everything right today. Couple of years ago it was communicated to me that I might open someday. Even in the nets I used to practice with the new ball.”

The 32-year-old now averages 44.95 in Test cricket with 1888 runs in 49 innings including five centuries and 10 fifties. For his scores of 176 and 127, he was chosen as the player-of-the-match.

“No matter what ball you play, whether it’s red ball or white ball, at the start you’ve got to be careful,” he explained his thought process. “I focused on basics – leaving ball outside off, playing close to the body. My job here is to play in a certain manner, that’s what they expect me. And I’m going to try to do that. It’s my game to mix caution with aggression. Everything depends on the situation you’re batting in.”

The second Test starts from October 10 in Pune.