Visakhapatnam, Oct 2 (IANS) Indian batsman Rohit Sharma grabbed the opportunity to open the innings for his team with both hands as he struck a brilliant century on the rain-hit opening day of the first Test against South Africa here on Wednesday. The right-hander said he was mentally ready for opening India’s Test innings as he was confident that he would get the opportunity at some stage of his career.
Rohit, in his debut innings as Test opener, hit an unbeaten 115 and took India to 202/0 with Mayank Agarwal — unbeaten on 84 — before rain played spoilsport soon after the umpires stopped play — due to bad light — for an early tea.
After the end of the day’s play, Mayank asked Rohit about his views on smashing a ton in his debut game as India opener to which he replied: “I’m happy with the way things went out in the middle and knew if once we play few overs, it was on us to take the game forward. Because unless you make mistakes in these kind of wickets, you are not going to get out. So, ideally once you are in, the focus is on rotating the strike which we did pretty well and allowed us to bat the way we wanted to.”
When asked about opening the innings for India in the longest format of the game, Rohit said: “When we were in Australia, I knew I might get a chance to open for India at some stage and that is why I was mentally ready for the option.”
“After the West Indies tour, the team management had made it clear that I am going to open for India at this home series so, yes the preparation was based around that. I had lot of confidence going into this game and it was a great day for India as the first day is always very important,” the opener said on bcci.tv.
Rohit also asked Mayank about his gameplan to which the Karnataka batsman said: “I focussed on shot selection as the wicket was slow and low. I tried to play straight with full face of the bat and I think the key on such wickets is to bat as long as possible.”
During the course of their knock, Rohit smashed 12 fours and 5 sixes while Mayank hit 11 fours and 2 sixes.