Rohit Sharma on verge of breaking Martin Guptill's T20I record against South Africa in Dharamsala opener
Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma will be eyeing another record-fest outing in the series opener between hosts India and South Africa in Dharamsala on Sunday. Fresh from thrashing the West Indies in their first T20I series in the post-2019 World Cup era, Virat Kohli-led Team India are back at the den for their first home series as they host Quinton de Kock's men for across all-format tournaments. India will kickstart its bilateral series against the Proteas in the form of three T20Is scheduled to be played in Dharamsala, Mohali, and Bengaluru.
The three-match T20I opera promises to play a vital part in India's preparations for the forthcoming World T20 hosted by Australia. Rohit, who had a series of lackluster performances on display in the Caribbean has a couple of records up for grabs during the entire course of series. As Proteas pose the biggest threat to India even in their own backyard, the onus will be on the Indian opening batsman to thwart the potent Proteas bowling unit from regrouping themselves after the World Cup set back in England and Wales.
With record of being the overall top run-scorer and smashing most number of sixes in the T20I setup, Rohit is also on the cusp of becoming the most successful batsman against the South African T20I side. The 32-year-old can become the highest run grosser against the Proteas in the shortest format of the game during the three-match series. Though the Hitman will be involved in a direct tussle with King Kohli for string of records that the captain-deputy duo can break and make in the upcoming series, the milestone of becoming the best batsman against the Proteas is said to be a two-horse race between Rohit and New Zealand's Martin Guptill.
Leading run-scorers in T20Is against South Africa
1. Martin Guptill 424 runs
2. Rohit Sharma 341 runs
3. Suresh Raina 339 runs
4. David Warner 329 runs
5. Chris Gayle 307 runs
The Kiwi opener is the current highest scorer against South Africa in the shortest format of the game. Guptill in the span of seven years (from 2009 to 2015) has managed to score 424 runs in 10 innings against the Proteas. Averaging over 37.88 along with an explosive strike rate, Rohit has amassed 341 runs in 10 innings. India are yet to win a home series against the Proteas in the 20-overs format. The Proteas last visited India in 2015 and had won the three-match series 2-0 at the time.