Rohit Sharma’s Test career has kept hanging around ever since his maiden series in this format way back in 2013. He made his Test debut six years after his international debut and started off with back to back hundreds. However, it was followed up with a string of poor performances overseas. As a result, he was in and out of the playing XI and squad regularly. His brilliant shows in limited-overs kept him in the Test side and he didn’t get chances to play domestic cricket, playing the red-ball format.
Lack of big runs, team combination and struggles in overseas conditions didn’t allow Rohit to be a Test regular for India. His career in the longer format seemed to be shelved when Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari scored the majority of the runs during the recent Test series versus West Indies. Rahane scored his first Test ton after two years. Vihari, who made his debut last year in England, sealed the No.6 spot with a hat-trick of fifties including his maiden Test ton in the Caribbean Islands.
With the failures of KL Rahul, the Indian management finally decided to try Rohit Sharma as opener, hoping that he can replicate his white-ball success. The 32-year-old opened the innings in the first of the 3-match Test series against South Africa in Vizag. He cautiously batted in the first hour before reaching a fifty in the first session of the game off 84 balls. He carried on with the momentum to complete his 4th Test ton and his first as an opener.
This was the first time Rohit opened the innings for India in the longer format. Thus, he became only the 4th Indian to score a hundred in their maiden Test as an opener. Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Prithvi Shaw are the other three Indians with the same achievement. Dhawan and Shaw achieved the feat in their debut Test while Rahul got it in his second Test match. Rahul got promoted up the order in the following Test after his failures on debut.
Indian to score a century in their maiden Test as opener:
(Stats as on October 2, 2019)
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