India vs South Africa: Rohit Sharma breaks World record in his first outing as opener
When the news broke out that Rohit Sharma will open the innings in all three Test matches against South Africa, the expectations were sky high. Rohit lived up to the expectations by scoring 176 runs in his maiden appearance as an opener in the first innings at Visakhapatnam.
India posted a massive total of 502 runs in the first innings courtesy a 300-run partnership between Mayank Agarwal and Hitman. In reply, South Africa too did well as they managed to score 431 runs against the likes of Ashwin and Jadeja on a wicket that had decent assistance for the spin bowlers. With a lead of merely 71 runs, it meant Virat Kohli and co. had to score runs at a quicker rate with less than two days remaining in the Test match.
The onus was again on Indian openers to provide a solid start. Despite the early loss of Mayank Agarwal for 7, Sharma once again proved his worth with a ballistic 149-ball 127 in the second innings.
The star opener went on to score his second consecutive century in this game and thus, becoming the first opener to register centuries in his first two appearances at the top of the order.
Interestingly, Rohit scored centuries in his first two innings after his debut too. The Mumbai Indians captain has announced himself in style after the twin centuries in the longest format. He also becomes the second Indian opener after Sunil Gavaskar to smash two hundreds in the same Test match.
This was not only the record that Rohit broke during his innings, there were a couple more that Hitman registered for himself.
When he smashed three consecutive sixes of Dane Piedt, he overhauled Wasim Akram's record of most sixes in a Test match. The former Pakistani speedster smashed 12 sixes against Zimbabwe in his innings of 257* in 1996. While Rohit saw the ball over the fence on 13 occasions in the entire Test match.
With all the build-up to the Vizag Test revolved around Rohit Sharma and his fortunes that lie ahead of him in Test cricket, he did show what he is capable of when the opportunity was presented to him. Yes, the real challenge will be when he plays outside Asia but let's cherish the moment instead thinking too far ahead.