Having been promoted to open the batting in Test cricket for the first time against South Africa, Rohit Sharma responded with an unbeaten 115 in a double-century stand with Mayank Agarwal.
What Rohit’s best role in Tests is has been much discussed, with India’s white-ball opener having been in and out of the red-ball side since his debut in 2012. He had only opened the batting in first-class cricket three times before his first-day hundred, but still managed to find a way to get through the new ball on his first attempt in Tests.
“I was very clear in my mind as to what I wanted to do out there. No matter what conditions you play anywhere in the world, at least the first few overs will do something with the red ball or white ball, whatever it is. You’ve got to focus on basics at that time, playing closer to the body, leaving the ball,” Rohit said.
Soon enough however, the ball started to age, and Rohit was able to revert to the method which had brought him 1585 Test runs at an average of 39.62 prior to the series.
“We have played so much cricket in India, we know personally, I know what happens after seven or eight overs,” he said. “The shine of the ball is gone. It’s so humid out there. The ball doesn’t swing much thereafter. After that it’s about playing your game and taking the game forward,” he said.
With conditions not aiding fast scoring, Rohit extolled the importance of not getting bogged down. “Because it’s a slow and low pitch, it’s very crucial you don’t get stuck at any point. You need to keep taking the game forward. That is what my thought process was while I was batting. I’ve played enough cricket in India to understand that. I have played a lot of first-class cricket as well,” he added.