Rohit Sharma was a limited overs specialist for a long time. After the departure of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar for ODIs, MS Dhoni elevated Rohit to the opening slot and ‘The Hitman’ responded. Rohit started opening like a water fish and heaped the runs in colorful clothes.
Indeed, ever since Rohit Sharma made his batting debut in ODI cricket, he has been one of the most successful Indian batsmen along with Virat Kohli. Rohit scored three double centuries in the 50-over format (no other batsman had more than one) and set up Sindhu’s innings with his brilliant performance. With over 8500 runs and 27 centuries, Rohit Sharma is already on his way to becoming a batting great in ODI cricket.
However, it put a question mark on Rohit Sharma credibility in Test cricket. Despite a magical century in his debut Test against the West Indies in 2013, Rohit failed to make his place in the Test team. They were offered limited opportunities among the Europeans and success in the longest format remained elusive.
However, three weeks in October this year have changed everything. In the squad for the home Test series against South Africa, Rohit experienced his doubles with some brilliant innings.
In his first Test as an opener, Rohit Sharma scored a century with the bowlers of South Africa. In the first innings, there was a brilliant 176 runs, while in the second innings, India crushed the spectators by playing 127 runs. In the process, Rohit Sharma became the first cricketer in history to score two centuries in his first Test as an opener.
After a failure in the second Test, Rohit returned to the final game of the series. The 32-year-old scored a century from just 255 balls with his first double century, adding to the toughness and flamboyance in the South African bowling attack.
Rohit started cautiously, embarking on a tough phase, but once set, he launched a ferocious attack on the opposition. The spinners were placed atop the boundary and the fast bowlers were cut, flooded and contemptuously drawn. It was Rohit in its best form, and was taken aback by what the opposition could do.
Rohit’s heroines with Willow have certainly played an important role in India, having gained an awkward position over South Africa in the series. If ‘The Hitman’ can continue in the same vein, he can certainly establish himself as one of the best openers for India in Test match cricket.
Rohit, the Test opener has indeed arrived.