Already a white-ball legend, Rohit Sharma has passed the audition with flying colours as India’s new Test opener during the first game against South Africa in Vizag. Rohit has been given a huge lifeline by the Indian team management to replicate his limited-overs success in Test cricket. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands by scoring a brilliant hundred in his first innings as Test opener to put India in command during the opening day of the first Test. During his unbeaten 115-run knock, Rohit also equalled Sir Don Bradman‘s record of having an astounding batting average of 98.22 at home.
While Bradman had an average of 98.22 after 50 innings at home with 4322 runs in his kitty, Rohit has 884 runs after 15 innings with the same average. This is the highest average for a batsman with 10 or more innings at home. The 32-year-old not only weathered the initial storm by playing patiently against the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander but also came into his elements against the slow ball bowlers. He took the Proteas spinners to the cleaners right from the word go and notched up his half-century before the lunch break.
Rohit started his Test career with twin centuries against West Indies in 2013. His third century had also come at home against Sri Lanka. With his fourth Test century on Wednesday, he equalled Bradman’s tally to level the legendary batsman.
Rohit, in his debut innings as Test opener, hit an unbeaten 115 and took India to 202/0 with Mayank Agarwal — unbeaten on 84 — before rain played spoilsport soon after the umpires stopped play — due to bad light — for an early tea. During the course of his 174-ball knock, Rohit smashed 12 fours and 5 sixes while Mayank hit 11 fours and 2 sixes in his 183-ball innings.
Speaking at the end of the day’s play, Rohit insisted that his plan was to trust his game and abilities and that’s what he was able to achieve as he remained unbeaten on 115 at stumps on an opening day. “I wanted to take the opportunity and that’s why I made the management aware of it. I am grateful to them for providing me with the opportunity and I am happy I could score runs,” Rohit told reporters.