Opener Rohit Sharma on Saturday became the first India opener in 41 years to record twin centuries in a Test. Playing the 1st Test at Vizag, Rohit followed up 176 in the first innings with another century – the fifth of his Test career – off 133 balls. Before him, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar had done so in 1978-79 against the West Indies.
During his innings, Rohit shattered a plethora of records. He surpassed former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu to hit most sixes in a Test match for India. Sidhu had struck eight sixes at Lucknow in 1994 against Sri Lanka, a record which lasted for 25 long years. Opening for the first time in Tests, Rohit registered his fourth century in the first innings at Visakhapatnam against South Africa, in which he hit 176 runs with the help of six sixes.
He followed it with a half-century in the second, during which he hit offspinner Dane Piedt into the side screen. It was the third time he cleared the rope in the innings, taking his match tally to nine sixes.
Most sixes in a Test match for India
9 (subject to change) – Rohit Sharma this match
8 – Navjot Singh Sidhu vs Sri Lanka, Lucknow, 1994
Rohit also became the only cricketer to hit seven consecutive Test fifties on home soil. He holds the record for hitting the most sixes for India in a single match (Tests, T20Is, ODIs). Besides, Rohit also has the most runs by a player opening for the first time in a Test. Currently, he has 226 runs, going past Kepler Wessell’s tally of 208 runs against England in Brisbane 1982.
50+ score in most consecutive Test innings in India
7 Rohit Sharma (Sep 2016 – ongoing)
6 Everton Weekes (Nov 1948 – Feb 1949)
6 Rahul Dravid (Nov 1997 – Mar 1998)
6 Andy Flower (Mar 1993 – Nov 2000)
In the second innings, with a lead of 71 runs on Day 4, Rohit looked to get quick runs. He got off to a good start even though Mayank Agarwal departed for seven runs.
Earlier on Day 4, India required 13 overs to wipe off the South Africa tail but it wasn’t before their last three batsmen had ensured the deficit was less than that of 100. South Africa’s last-wicket pair of Senuran Muthusamy and Kagiso Rabada entertained with a 35-runs stand, getting the total to cross 400.
Offspinner R Ashwin grabbed the final two wickets of the day to finish with 7/145, one shy of 350 wickets to halt South Africa for 431