Rohit Sharma’s Test career has never taken off ever since he made his debut back in 2013 against the West Indies. Though he has been in the selectors’ radar, he was never a regular member of the red-ball format. Lately, the Indian team management decided to give the Mumbai batter a chance to open the batting. KL Rahul’s poor run of form forced Rohit to be tried out as an opener.
Rohit faced the new ball for the first time in Tests and he struck gold from the word go. The 32-year-old notched his fourth ton in the format against South Africa in Visakhapatnam. Prior to the encounter, he bagged a duck in the warm-up match and that turned the focus more on Rohit. But on the first day of the opening Test, the experienced campaigner showed great composure.
Rohit Sharma dominates the Proteas
Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada beat his outside-edge quite a few times in the first session. Rohit carried on a got to a half-century off a mere 84 deliveries with a couple of over-boundaries. Mayank Agarwal, his opening partner, also looked in pretty ominous touch. In the post-Lunch session, the duo carried on the good work and piled on more agony for Faf du Plessis’ Proteas.
The visitors attacked with their spinners- Dane Piedt, Keshav Maharaj and debutant Senuran Muthusamy. Their efforts went in vain as they used their feet to very good effect. In the 50th over, Rohit charged down the track and deposited Piedt over the ropes. The strokes down the ground also took him into the 90s. The batsman played with the spin and that worked to his advantage.
Needless to say, that Sharma was looking in a completely different zone altogether. Rohit showed how dangerous he can be once he gets his eyes in. In the 53rd over, Rohit guided one off Maharaj to third man for a delicate boundary to reach 97. He must have had butterflies in his stomach.
In the last ball of the 54th over, he chopped a short ball from Muthusamy to sweeper cover and got to his fourth Test ton off 154 balls. It was his first as a Test opener. The he took off his helmet and raised the bat to celebrate more in relief. After his masterclass, Twitter heaped praises on him.
Here is how Twitter lauded Rohit Sharma
Wah @ImRo45 Brilliant 100.. dress blue ho ya white koi fark nahi padta.. Rohit HiT hai bhai 🏏 @BCCI @StarSportsIndia #INDvSA
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) October 2, 2019
What a player always treat to watch take a bow Mr sharma 💯👏👏👏👏🇮🇳😊💪 @ImRo45 #IndVsSA #testchampionship
— Rahul Sharma (@ImRahulSharma3) October 2, 2019
4th Test Century. 1st as an opener. Rohit has grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Well played ☺️👏 #IndvSA
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 2, 2019
India need a test opener, selectors were scared Rohit Sharma could not do it. He's arrived, let's hope he's here to stay. Cement that spot! #INDvSA #cricket
— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) October 2, 2019
First test as an opener and Rohit Sharma answers his detractors in style. What an important 100!
— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) October 2, 2019
The sun has risen again.
Century in the first game as a Test opener, at home. Hopefully it builds upto many more touring.
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) October 2, 2019
Century on Test debut
Century on opening debut #IndvSA
— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) October 2, 2019
Rohit Sharma becomes the first Indian player to score a century in each Tests, ODIs and T20Is as an opener.
There is no substitute for talent.#INDvSA
— Umang Pabari (@UPStatsman) October 2, 2019
Century for Rohit Sharma. Fine, fine knock even if the SA bowling has looked inadequate. Came at a time when his Test career was piquantly poised. Opening slot secured, up to him now how makes the future count
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) October 2, 2019
Well played Rohit Sharma. Run a ball from here will bring 200 before end of play today. #INDvSA
— kiran kumar reddy (@gkiran001) October 2, 2019
Extremely dark, vicious, at times uncomfortable, and yet spectacular! Rohit Sharma delivers his Travis Bickle in Vizag
— crank (@ElCrankoPunko) October 2, 2019
Superb sharma ji @ImRo45
— Rohit Kumar Rajput (@rohit8may) October 2, 2019
100 for @ImRo45 !!! Sharma ji ne kamal kardia!!! Aja asa lagraha he ki rohit ka test debut he !! 🥺🥺#INDvSA
— $P*¬p@nD@!!! 😎😎🙏🙏🇮🇳🇮🇳 (@Subhaprada777) October 2, 2019
2013: Rohit Sharma scored a Test ton on debut
Scored back to back tons
Only 1 ton in his next 45 Test innings
2019: Scored his first ton as an opener#INDvSA
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) October 2, 2019
Take a bow #RohitSharma!
He should have been opening in #Test too for long long time.#BetteLateThanNever#INDvsSA@ImRo45 @BCCI @imVkohli
— Vivek Singh (@singhvivek83) October 2, 2019
Meanwhile @klrahul11 packing his bag(whites). #century for #Hitman @ImRo45#IndVsSA #HaveYourSay @cricbuzz @bhogleharsha
— ನಿಶ್ಚಿತ್ (@sarcasticNish) October 2, 2019
What an easy! Hundred from @ImRo45. Again shows why he rated among the top two batsman in Indian cricket. His first in test as an opner. Hopefully many more to come. Well played 👏. #IndvsSa
— Kaustubh Jagtap (@KaustubhJagtap7) October 2, 2019
Superb inning from #rohitsharma 1st century as a opner and 4th overall.
Like virendra sehwag
— Amit kumar (@Amitkum36686839) October 2, 2019
Test 100 for @ImRo45 in his very first innings as an opener. Typical Rohit Sharma style 👏. So happy for him 😊. Hope he cements his place as a Test opener. #INDvSA @BCCI
— Fahham Mohammed (@fahham912) October 2, 2019
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