Rohit Sharma’s Test career saw a welcome revival in the just-concluded series against South Africa as he plundered 529 runs in three matches with three hundreds. The Mumbai basher was picked as the man of the series as India accomplished their first-ever whitewash of the Proteas in a Test series.
After having picked 16 South Africa wickets on Day 3, India finished the formalities by dismissing the final two South African batsmen to win the game in Ranchi by an innings and 202 runs. India won the first game in Visakhapatnam by 203 runs and the second in Pune by an innings and 137 runs.
Rohit, who did not get to play in the Tests in the West Indies, was asked to open in the home series after KL Rahul got dropped. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and finished the series at an overwhelming average of 132.25. Rohit hit two centuries in both innings in Visakhapatnam before slamming a double ton in Ranchi. He was declared as the man of the match in both the matches.
Speaking at the post-match conference, Rohit, who now has an impressive average of 48 plus in the long format, thanked the team management for believing in him.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to the management for that opening slot. I can take a lot of positives about how to counter the new ball. The new ball is always a threat, and to be able to counter that will be a huge positive. I can take my game forward from that,” he said.
Rohit has had an ordinary run in the Tests before this series and was considered among the discards after repeated failure to play big knocks. He had scored two centuries in his first two Test innings but then got only one in the next 40-plus outings.
Opening experience in white-ball cricket helped Rohit Sharma
When asked about his disciplined approach to batting in the top order, Rohit said, “It’s something that started in 2013 when I started opening in white-ball cricket. I realised you need some discipline at the start of the innings. It’s a template to my batting that allows me some success to my batting. 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.”
He also acknowledged the support of captain Virat Kohli and the coaches. He said the big scores will give him the necessary confidence to move ahead.
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