Visakhapatnam: As an opener for the first time in Test Cricket, batsman Rohit Sharma hit a hundred (115 not out) and gave India firm control over South Africa on the first day of the Test match at Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Stadium here on Wednesday.
India reached 202 without losing any wicket before persistent rain forced early stumps on the opening day of the match. Rohit’s century in the game is his fourth in Test cricket and the first since an unbeaten 102 against Sri Lanka in Nagpur back in November 2016.
As expected by cricket buffs in the Vizag, Rohit played some superb shots all over the stadium including some big sixes. He negotiated the initial burst from South Africa’s fast bowling squad Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada before unleashing his vast array of shots.
At the interval, Rohit Sharma was unbeaten at 115 off 174 balls, while another opener Mayank Agarwal was on course for a century, reaching 84 off 183 balls. The 32-year-old Rohit was also occasionally seen stepping up to hit the South African bowlers for sixes.
Replying a question on opening in Test Match, Rohit said that opening the batting is a different ball game in red-ball cricket. “I looked for one more opportunity to prove myself in Test and confidently played,” he added.
On Wednesday, Rohit played without any difficulties on a low and slow day-one pitch. He didn’t face any challenge from South Africa’s pacer Vernon who had dismissed him for nought in the warm-up game last week.
As the skies opened gallons of water during the break, delaying the start of the post-tea session in Vizag stadium, the umpires decided to call off the play for the day. As Vizag hosts the Test match during Dussehra holidays, several students thronged the stadium to watch the first day of the series.