India batsman Rohit Sharma aggregated 529 runs in his debut series as Test opener against South Africa with a maiden double hundred in the final game at Ranchi apart from twin hundreds (176 and 127) at Vizag. The performance earned him the Player-of-the-Series award while India inflicted a 3-0 whitewash over the Proteas.
Rohit had entered into this series with people still in doubt over him as a Test match batsman, especially at the top of the order. However, the gifted right-hander not only survived, he flourished to give himself a new reign of life in the longest format of the game.
In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Rohit recently reflected on his success as an opener in red-ball cricket, saying: “It was a great series but as long as I’m playing, there will be no time for me to relax.”
In the five-day format cricket, Rohit will now be seen in action during the two-match Test series against Bangladesh at home, starting November 14.
“I don’t want to look back now. I just want to focus on doing well every time I go and play test cricket and focus on what are the good things that I did in this series and take that forward,” he added.
Rohit has already proved his mettle as an opener in white-ball cricket. The right-hander is the only batsman with three 200-plus scores in the 50-over format and smashed a record five centuries at this year’s World Cup.
Explaining the challenges of Tests and ODIs, the elegant batsman said: “Red ball does a lot more than the white ball. So you have to keep telling yourself that you have to focus more, and be more disciplined in shot-making.”
“In one day cricket, once you get past that powerplay overs the field is spread. You can just take singles and rotate strike and then odd boundaries here and there will come. But Test cricket is not like that. There are a lot of catching positions, so you have to be very disciplined,” he continued.
Rohit will have to deal with a new challenge in the Test series against Bangladesh, which includes a day-night Test in Kolkata from November 22.
“I’ve played only one pink-ball game in the Duleep Trophy ... We need a lot of more experience with that ball, but it’s a great time for us to play a day-night Test,” he concluded.