Rohit Sharma has closed the doors on many players wanting to open the batting for India in Tests after the Mumbai batsman smashed back-to-back centuries in the series opening Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam.

He followed up his first innings 176 with a quick-fire hundred in the 2nd innings that took just 133 balls. His twin centuries saw Rohit become only the sixth Indian to score twin hundreds in a Test match. He joins in the elite company of Indian cricketers including Vijay Hazare (1), Sunil Gavaskar (3), Rahul Dravid (2), Virat Kohli (1) and Ajinkya Rahane (1) who have scored hundreds in each innings of a Test match.

Rohit’s performance made former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar draw parallels with ex-India batsman Virender Sehwag. “Rohit Sharma has a much better technique than Virender Sehwag. Sehwag just had a will and aggressive mindset to hit shots all across the park,” he said.

“He (Rohit Sharma) has got great timing, a variety of shots and elegance. Earlier, he had less passion for Tests as he wanted to be a specialist batsman for all different formats. Now you an see when Rohit put this thought out of his mind, he scored a century,” he explained.

The win in Vizag helped India bag 40 points to extend their lead at the top of the ICC World Test Championship 2019 table. This was India’s third Test under the new championship and the Virat Kohli-led side have maintained a 100 per cent record.

With the loss, the Proteas, playing their first match, are sitting on the sixth spot, ahead of the Windies. Sri Lanka and New Zealand are ahead of Ashes rivals – Australia and England – with 60 points each after their two-match series ended in a 1-1 draw.