India have found next Virender Sehwag in Rohit Sharma, says Virat Kohli coach Rajkumar Sharma
Indian captain Virat Kohli's childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma said India have found the next Virender Sehwag in Rohit Sharma after the opener's stellar show in the first Test against South Africa in Vizag on Sunday. India bagged their third win on the trot in the World Test Championship after a comfortable 203-run win over the Faf du Plessis-led side. Rohit was the hero in India's victory with back-to-back hundreds in two innings.
Rohit was trusted to open the batting after KL Rahul was dropped ahead of the series following a string of poor performances in whites. Rohit announced his arrival in style with a century on his debut as a Test opener as he slammed a brilliant 176 combining with double-centurion Mayank Agarwal (206) to post a record 317-run stand for the first wicket in India's first innings. The Hitman followed up his 176 with another hundred in the second innings and was deservingly awarded the Man of the Match for his contributions with the bat.
"Rohit is an outstanding player. Everyone knows about the talent he possesses. He was known for his batting in the ODI format, but he showed everyone that he can be a great Test player as well,” Sharma told ANI.
“India has found an established opener now. He can accelerate whenever the team requires him to. I think the team has found another Sehwag. He scored five hundreds in the World Cup and he has earned his place in the Test squad.” he added.
After Rohit and Agarwal guided India to a strong total of 502 runs on the board in the first innings, South Africa responded strongly staging a fightback in their first innings. Dean Elgar scored a stunning 160 and was the top-scorer for the visitors with Quinton de Kock also complimenting him well with a brilliant 111-run-knock. The duo powered South Africa to a total of 431 runs handing India a moderate lead of 71 runs.
However, Rohit's 127 and Cheteshwar Pujara's 81 propelled the hosts to a good total of 323 runs leaving South Africa with a massive 395-run target to chase in their second innings. Indian bowlers then combined to bundle out the visitors on a paltry 191 with Mohammed Shami taking a five-wicket haul. Sharma praised the all-round effort by the team and credited the bowlers for a spectacular show.
“It was a very clinical performance. The way our bowlers performed today was very nice to see. Bowlers maintained their intensity throughout. Ashwin picked up seven wickets in the first innings and in the second innings, Jadeja showed his class. Shami was outstanding as well, he showed how useful he can be,” said Sharma.