VISAKHAPATNAM: Rohit Sharma has got off to a flying start as a Test opener. The 32-year-old, who is the vice-captain of the limited-overs teams, on Saturday followed up his first innings score of 176 with a quickfire 127 to help India set South Africa a target of 395 in the first Test at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here.
During the course of his knock, Rohit also set a slew of records for himself.
The Mumbai batsman became the first cricketer to slam twin tons in his maiden Test as an opener.
Rohit also joined an elite list of Indian batsmen who have scored centuries in both innings of a single Test. The others who achieved the feat include Vijay Hazare (1), Sunil Gavaskar (3), Rahul Dravid (2), Virat Kohli (1) and Ajinkya Rahane (1).
With India looking to score quickly on Day 4 in order to force a result in the Test, Rohit was on the offensive, hitting some trademark sixes. He hit seven maximums in the second innings to take his match tally to 13 — the most by anyone in a Test match — going past former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram who struck 12 sixes against Zimbabwe in 1996.
Navjot Singh Sidhu previously held the Indian record for most sixes in a Test, hitting eight against Sri Lanka in 1994. Rohit now holds the record for most sixes in a match for India in all the three formats of the game.
India’s overall tally of sixes in this match is 27, which is the most by any team in a single macth in the history of Test cricket. The previous record was held by New Zealand, who smashed 22 sixes against Pakistan in 2014 while the previous best for India was 15 sixes against Sri Lanka in Mumbai in 2009.
Rohit also surpassed Rahul Dravid for most consecutive fifty-plus scores by an Indian batsman at home. Dravid had slammed six fifty-plus scores between 1997 and 1998 while this was the seventh time that Rohit went past that mark. His last seven Test scores in India read 127, 176, 50*, 65, 102*, 51* and 82.
Rohit also became the first Indian to get out stumped in both innings of a Test. Interestingly, he never got out stumped in his entire first class career before this match.