Rohit Sharma made a smashing debut as an opener in red-ball cricket, scoring 176 and 127 in the Vizag Test to script a massive 203-run victory for India against South Africa.
KL Rahul's repeated failures at the top prompted the Indian team management go ahead with Rohit as the second opener with Mayank Agarwal in the first Test and the decision turned out to be a masterstroke.
While Rohit set a new world record by smoking 13 sixes in the Test, he also became the only player in history to hit twin tons while opening for the first time in the longest format.
Seeing his domination in Vizag, veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Wednesday (October 9) expressed surprise at why the team management took so much time to promote Rohit at the top but insisted that it's "better late than never".
"Everyone is impressed [with Rohit's performance in Vizag]. This is probably the best decision the management has taken in the recent past. This is going to be great for Team India going forward, Rohit Sharma opening in Tests. Once he gets set, he takes the game away from the opposition. I would like the management to stick with him for at least 8 to 10 games. I am really, really happy with the way he played and scored in the game. India won the game and a lot of credit should be given to Rohit Sharma for setting the game up," Harbhajan Singh told India Today.
"Well, he could have. Why not? Since he has been opening in ODIs and T20Is, he is a very experienced batsman. He has got the technique to play the fast bowlers. I don't know why it didn't come to their mind earlier. Better late than ever, they say. He has got a chance. He has proven with the numbers as well that he is more than capable to be in the Test squad. I wish him all the luck going forward," he added.
Addressing the press conference after his heroics in Visakhapatnam, Rohit had disclosed that the talks of his promotion to opener's role in Tests were going on for quite some time.
"That communication (on opening) between management and myself happened long time ago that I might have to do at some stage. So for the past two or three years I was prepared for it mentally,” he had said.
"Whenever I was not playing a Test match, in the nets I was batting with the new ball trying to be ready if the opportunity come. It's a great start and I have long way to go. It's not the end, it's the start. Good things are about to follow. All those things are nice to happen along the way but have said many times I am not here for records. I just want to enjoy the game. I know it might be boring but that is what it is," the 32-year-old added.