Rohit Sharma Blasted His Way Into Test Cricket With A Debut Century On This Day In 2013
When India and West Indies clashed for the first Test in Kolkata in 2013, the match was more than just another game. The Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar was playing his farewell series and this would be his last appearance in whites at the iconic Eden Gardens. The following game, his last match, would be played on his home turf in Mumbai.
But this match would stand out for another man. Rohit Sharma, after waiting for years on the sidelines, was finally making his Test debut. He was already part of the limited overs sides since 2007 and slowly was establishing his place in the team, but the Test spot had eluded him. Of course the question was, would he ready for red ball cricket? That was the question he would answer with his willow. On November 7, the second day of the Test, he did just that. He would bat into the 3rd day and effectively bat the opposition out of the game.
Things started well for India as the visitors just managed 234 and the hosts ended on 37/0. But Day 2 was proving to be a nightmare as one by one the Indians capitulated. Rohit walked in when Sachin fell for 10 with the score on 82/4. A run later he lost Virat Kohli and was joined by skipper MS Dhoni at the crease. For a man playing his first red ball game, it was an overwhelming occasion.
Lesser men may have crumbled, but Rohit put his head down and began to accumulate the runs slowly increasing his pace. Runs began to flow and it also helped him put on 280 runs for the 6th wicket with Ravichandran Ashwin (124). Pretty soon he got his 50 and then registered his century on debut, joining an elite list of Indian cricketers. At the end of Day 2 he was batting on 127.
Rohit did not let up on Day 3 and continued to add 50 more runs before perishing for 177. His 301-ball knock consisted of 23 fours and a six. India amassed 453 and bundled out West Indies for 168 to win the game in 3 days. The series lead of 1-0 meant we could not lose.
In the next game Rohit would score a hundred again and India would wrap it up 2-0 to give Sachin the perfect farewell. The man himself made 74, but that is a tale for another day.
Rohit's journey in Test cricket would get tough as he would struggle to maintain his place. Only now with the opening slot given to him is he coming into his own. But the first spark of the fire was lit back then. 6 years on, the fire is burning brightly.