India vs South Africa: Shoaib Akhtar makes a bold prediction about Rohit Sharma’s future as a Test opener
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar heaped praise on India opener Rohit Sharma after the latter slammed his 4th Test century which was also his first one on his maiden innings as an opener in red-ball cricket. Rohit, who replaced KL Rahul at the top in the first Test against South Africa at Visakhapatnam, straightaway stamped his authority with a breathtaking innings.
Reacting on Rohit’s wonderful display with the bat on his opening debut, Shoaib Akhtar said he was delighted that Rohit finally found his groove in red-ball cricket. “I’m happy that he finally understood the method of Test cricket. Previously he wanted to become a Test batsman when all he needed to was play his natural game without thinking too much,” said Akhtar on his Youtube channel.
Akhtar’s comments came after the first day’s play of the India vs South Africa 1st Test. The former Pakistan pace spearhead also shared an incident in which he revealed how he had motivated ‘great’ Rohit Sharma back in 2013. “In 2013 in a gym in Bangladesh I asked Rohit what is your name? He replied, ‘you know it brother, It’s Rohit Sharma’. I said, add great in front of Rohit Sharma because there is no bigger batsman in Indian cricket than you,” said Akhtar.
Akhtar advised Rohit to be ruthless in his approach even in Test cricket and also predicted that the 32-year-old will go on to get a double hundred soon. Akhtar said that if Rohit continues to bat without fear like he did on Day 1 against South Africa that he has the ability to score even 1000 runs in a five-match Test series.
Rohit ended up with 176 after he was finally dismissed by left-arm spinner Keshav Maharj at the stroke of lunch on Day 2.
This was Rohit’s second 150 plus score in the longest format of the game. The right-handed batsman whacked six sixes and 23 fours in his innings before getting stumped by Quinton de Kock.
India resumed their play from 202/0 on day two of the first Test match. Riding on the confidence from day one, both openers played their natural game and didn’t allow the Proteas’ bowlers to get settle.
Rohit shared a record-breaking 317-run opening stand with Mayank Agarwal, who also went on to get his maiden Test ton in the process.