India vs South Africa: Wasim Jaffer wants sustained stay at top for Rohit Sharma after Vizag ton - Exclusive

Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times

Author 2019-10-03 10:01:14

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Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer knows a thing or two about opening the innings in red-ball cricket considering he has amassed more than 11,000 runs in India’s premier domestic competition, the Ranji Trophy. The former Mumbai opener was full of praise for India’s newly-promoted Test opener Rohit Sharma, who entered record books by slamming his first century in the longest format while opening the innings.

Rohit scored a century on Day 1 of the first Test against South Africa, in what was his maiden innings as India’s opener. He thus extended a stellar home record in the longest format and his average of 98.22 at stumps on Day 1 is now the same as that of Don Bradman. This is the highest average for a batsman with 10 or more innings at home.

“The biggest thing for Rohit was to survive and get through the initial phase,” Jaffer told Hindustan Times. “Once he got through the initial phase, he was always going to be dangerous and that is what we got to see today (Wednesday).

“Probably the once concern in his game is that he doesn’t come forward and goes hard at the ball outside the subcontinent.

“But I am sure he has matured as a player and made necessary modification to his game. The team management should give him a sustained stay in this new role,” he added.

Rohit’s 115* took India to 202/0 before rain washed out final session of the day. With the help of his fourth Test ton, Rohit also became the first Indian opener to slam centuries in all three formats. Rohit’s first three tons came while playing in the middle-order and this was the first instance where he was opening the innings in Tests and he marked it with a sensational ton.

Also, Rohit became the eighth batsman in the world to score a century in Tests, ODIs and T20Is as an opener after Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Ahmed Shehzad, Shane Watson, and Tamim Iqbal.

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