Rohit makes dream debut as Test opener before rain washes out final session

Rohit makes dream debut as Test opener b...

Rohit Sharma's Test career got a new lease of life as he struck an unbeaten 115 in his first innings as an opener to take India to a commanding 202 for no loss against South Africa before rain washed out the final session of the series-opener, here on Wednesday.

There was an 80 per cent chance of rain on the opening day but it only arrived during the tea break with India comfortably placed after 59.1 overs of play.

Mayank Agarwal was on course for a maiden Test hundred, having played extremely well for his 183-ball 84.

Thunderstorm, followed by a heavy spell of rain, ensured no play was possible after the tea break.

Before weather played spoilsport, Rohit stole the show in what could be a career-changing knock for him.

While South African bowlers did trouble the Indian batsmen on a few occasions in the first session, they seemed toothless in the second session where Rohit and Agarwal scored at a brisk rate.

Rohit, who got to his fifty before lunch, shifted gears and was particularly harsh on the spinners.

He hammered off-spinner Danie Piedt for successive sixes over deep midwicket to get into the nineties before completing his fourth Test ton with a single off debutant spinner Senuran Muthusamy.

The entire dressing room, including skipper Virat Kohli, stood up to laud Rohit's feat. His 174-ball unconquered innings contained 12 fours and five sixes.

At the other end, Agarwal was cruising towards his maiden Test ton. He too looked assured at the crease and played his shots.

Early into the afternoon session, he brought up his half-century with a spectacular six over extra cover off Keshav Maharaj.

Clouds gathered over the stadium towards the end of the session and thunderstorms forced the umpires to take the tea break eight minutes before the scheduled time.

Earlier, Rohit and Agarwal played out 30 overs in the morning session after safely negotiating the South African pacers Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander, taking India to 91 for no loss.

India, who had named their playing on the eve of the first Test, opted to bat on a dry surface with skipper Kohli calling his decision a "no brainer."

Expecting the pitch to turn, South Africa picked three spinners in Maharaj, Piedt and Muthusamy, who is more of a batting all-rounder.

All eyes were expectedly on Rohit whose stop-start Test career has taken a new direction with the management accommodating him at the top of the order.

He left the first ball he faced before driving Rabada past backward point with minimal feet movement for a four.

His second scoring shot was also a boundary as he punched Philander towards backward point. The pitch offered very little to the pacers and spinners in the first two hours of play.

What worked for Rohit was standing outside the crease when Philander was bowling to negate any little swing that was available.

Rabada has the express pace but he did not test the Indian openers as much as Philander.

Rohit and Philander''s battle in the first hour was absorbing. Philander, who got the better of Rohit in the warm-up game, challenged Rohit by moving the ball both ways in his opening spell of four overs.

After a few play and misses, Rohit chose to walk down the pitch before South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis asked wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock to stand up to the stumps.

After getting the measure of the surface, Rohit went for his strokes like he does in white-ball cricket.

His first big hit was a typical one as he gently stepped out of the crease to smash Maharaj over long-on. A little later, he played a similar short off Piedt and this time the ball flew well above the long-on fielder.

Rohit completed his 11th Test half-century towards the end of the session but in a not-so-convincing fashion. He mistimed a sweep but fortunately, it was not in the reach of the fielder and went for a four.


PostedOn: 03 Oct 2019 Total Views: 110




Gritty NorthEast United hold Bengaluru F...

Gritty NorthEast United hold Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United played out a goalless draw in the second match of the Indian Super League at the Sree Kanteereva Stadium on Monday amidst relentless rain. This was the first time a game ended in a stalemate since the Blues entered the ISL. Coach Carles Cuadrat opted for a 4-3-3 lin...

22 Oct 2019

Theunis de Bruyn named as concussion rep...

Theunis de Bruyn named as concussion replacement f...

South Africa batsman Theunis de Bruyn has been named as concussion replacement for Dean Elgar, who was struck by India bowler Umesh Yadav on day three of the third Test match here on Monday. Elgar was hit on the helmet in the tenth over of the second innings after which he left the field. "Dean Elga...

22 Oct 2019

Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sh...

Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma break...

Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma have become the first three Indian batsmen to score a double century in the same Test series. The unique record was created on Sunday after Rohit smashed his first double ton in the longest format of the game. Interestingly all the double hundreds were s...

20 Oct 2019

IND vs SA 3rd Test: Kohli wins toss, ele...

IND vs SA 3rd Test: Kohli wins toss, elects to bat...

India skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat against South Africa in the third and final Test, here on Saturday. India, who, lead the series 2-0, have handed Test debut to local man Shahbaz Nadeem, resting paceman Ishant Sharma. Desperate to win the toss, Temba Bavuma walked in as proxy...

19 Oct 2019

Saurav Ganguly: Ravi Shastri shouldn't n...

Saurav Ganguly: Ravi Shastri shouldn't need a re-a...

BCCI President-elect Sourav Ganguly might not share the best of relations with Team India head coach Ravi Shastri, but the former India skipper has said that there shouldn't be a need for re-appointment of the head coach even though the ad-hoc Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) formed to select the he...

18 Oct 2019

'Virat Kohli leads by example in all asp...

'Virat Kohli leads by example in all aspects of th...

Former West Indies skipper Brian Lara has lauded India captain Virat Kohli, saying that he leads by example in all aspects of the game. He also opined that wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni set a solid base for the team and Kohli has taken the team forward. "He leads by example in all aspects of the ga...

18 Oct 2019

Indian challenge ends at Denmark Open

Indian challenge ends at Denmark Open

India's campaign at the USD 775,000 Denmark Open came to a disappointing end with the trioka of PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma -- all-exiting after suffering straight-game losses, here on Thursday. World Champion Sindhu, seeded fifth, yet again struggled to buck the trend of recent early...

18 Oct 2019

Not a fairytale journey for boxer Manju ...

Not a fairytale journey for boxer Manju Rani

Heartbroken and shattered, all of 12, Manju Rani had lost her father, Bhimsen Singh, to stomach cancer. Nowhere to go and none to take out frustration on, Rani found solace in boxing. She preferred punching the bag, hard, and letting go off the anger to sitting at home and mourning the loss of her f...

16 Oct 2019