Rohit Sharma was asked to open against South Africa in the first Test in Vizag after the Indian team management finally lost patience with KL Rahul, who had opened alongside Mayank Agarwal against West Indies in the Caribbean.
Rohit grabbed the opportunity with both hands and scored an entertaining 176. He also added 317 for the opening wicket with Agarwal. The two are now only the third Indian pair to add a 300-plus partnership for the first wicket in Test cricket.
The 32-year-old notched up an unbeaten 115 at stumps on Day 1 and added 61 runs more to his tally on Day 2 before being dismissed by Keshav Maharaj.
Rohit slammed 23 fours and six sixes in his sensational innings making the Proteas bowlers toil hard for his wicket. He was applauded by his teammates and captain Virat Kohli for the superb knock.
As Rohit walked back toward the dressing room after getting out, captain Kohli gave him a pat on his back as the Indian players and support staff applauded the opener’s stellar effort.
Besides Rohit and Agarwal, the other Indian opening pairs to share a 300-plus partnership in Test cricket are Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy (413 runs against New Zealand in 1956) and Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid (410 runs against Pakistan in 2006).