The three-match South Africa Test series at home has given Rohit Sharma’s red-ball career a fresh start as he enjoyed stupendous success as an opener, scoring three centuries including a maiden double-century in the format.

Thanks to his rock-solid performance at the top, India consistently posted massive first innings totals against South Africa in a 3-0 clean sweep. He finished the series with 529 runs at 132.25, the most by any batsman during the tour. For his performance in the third and final Test in Ranchi that concluded on Tuesday, Rohit was adjudged as man-of-the-match. And for his overall show, he was rightly given the man-of-the-series award as well.

Rohit has thanked the team management for putting faith in him. “I said it before as well, thankful to the management for giving me the opener’s position,” he said at the post-match presentation. “Considering how the series has gone by, I can take a lot of positives. The new ball will be a threat anywhere in the world. It’s been a great start, so I don’t want to let it go.”

Rohit said the discipline he has shown in Test cricket while opening the innings is something he developed long back since he started as an opener in limited-overs cricket. “That started long back in 2013, when I started opening for India. Once you are in, you can play your game. That’s what I have done, I follow a template. I believe that I can do that for the team, and there are lots of aspects that you need to be mindful of when you’re opening. The support of the coach and captain helps,” he said.

India defeated South Africa by an innings and 202 runs to win the series 3-0.