Rohit Sharma slammed all doubts about him opening a Test innings after he smashed an unbeaten century as an opener as India comfortably reached 202 for no loss on Day 1 of the first Test against South Africa in Vishakapatnam on Wednesday.
The Mumbaikar tonked 12 boundaries and five sixes en route to his 115 not out off 174 balls, while Mayank Agarwal too was on course for a century, reaching 84 at stumps.
Rohit, who reached his fourth Test hundred, shifted gears in the later stages of the day and was particularly harsh on the spinners. He hammered offie Danie Piedt for successive sixes over deep midwicket to get into the nineties before completing his fourth Test ton with a single off debutant spinner Senuran Muthusamy.
As soon as he reached his first century since an unbeaten 102 against Sri Lanka in Nagpur back in November 2016, the entire dressing room including skipper Virat Kohli stood up to laud Rohit’s feat.
“He has worked so hard and if he gets an opportunity, I am sure he will do well,” Ajinkya Rahane had said of Rohit. “We all know the quality he has. He is simply special.”
Rohit reposed the faith that the team management had on him by scoring an entertaining century on the opening day after Virat Kohli won the toss.
On the eve before the series opener, skipper Virat Kohli backed Rohit assuring him enough opportunities. “If he does that (succeed in the opening role), then our batting order at the top becomes more lethal. It is difficult to have a player like that to not start every time,” said Kohli, adding “if he comes into his own then the whole batting order looks a completely different batting order anywhere in the world.”
The century from Rohit set Twitter abuzz. Here are some reactions:
The last session on the opening day at Vizag was called off due to heavy rain. Rohit was batting on 115*, while Agarwal (85*) looks set to reach his maiden Test century.