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Rohit Sharma achieves a Special Milestone on his first day as a Test opener

Rohit Sharma - Photo: NDTV Sports

The three-match Test series between India and South Africa kicked off yesterday at Visakhapatnam. This is the first series for South Africa in the ICC Test championship, whereas India currently leads the table with 120 points in the Championship so far. 

The key talking point before the series was Rohit Sharma, who was making his maiden appearance as a Test opener for the Indian team.

On a pitch which had very little for the bowlers, Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat first. It was a big opportunity for Rohit to perform well and cement his place at the top of the order in Test cricket too.

India were off to a cautious start as the openers took their time to settle in and see off the new ball in the first hour of play. The fast bowlers had no assistance from the pitch, despite bowling in consistent areas. As a result, the visitors brought in the spinner as early as in the ninth over of the day. But both the openers looked solid against the spinners and churned out runs at will.

The runs kept flowing from both the ends as Rohit reached his half-century just before lunch. Indian openers continued their carnage post-lunch as well. Mayank also eased his way through a tough phase early in the innings with a well-crafted half-century. After going past the 50-run mark, Hitman unleashed his aggressive brand of cricket and brought his limited-overs game to the fore as he went freely about his business.

South African skipper Faf du Plessis tried all the tricks but none of his bowlers could make inroad into this new opening combination. Rohit converted his start and registered his maiden century as a Test opener, thus becoming the first Indian to score a century in all three formats as an opener. The Mumbaikar already has 25 hundred in ODIs and four T20I hundreds to his name as an opener.

Rohit also began his Test career with a century against West Indies in 2013. However, the 33-year old has found it difficult to earn himself a permanent spot in the Indian Test setup. His struggles in the limited opportunities in this format outside Asia, continue to haunt and create hindrance in his growth as a Test player. 

Even now when he is opening for India in Test format, the real challenge for him will arrive when India tours overseas to play in the SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia) countries. If he manages to score runs in those conditions, he will prove his doubters wrong and cement his legacy.

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