Heavy rains washed out the final session of the first Test in Visakhapatnam as India ended the day on 202/0. Rohit Sharma was the star of the show as he notched up a century in his maiden innings as a Test opener and he was ably assisted by Mayank Agarwal. It was day dominated by the hosts after captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first on the surface, which was deemed dry by both the captains.
It was a watchful start to the proceedings by Rohit who weathered the initial storm by Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander and slowly blossomed as the innings progressed. He was in his element when the spinners were introduced into the attack and notched up his half-century before the lunch break. He came into his own after the break and dominated proceedings as he caned the spinners and after settling down, even attacked the fast bowlers. A slash to deep cover point saw him reach his century and in the process, he also muted all the detractors.
Joins an exclusive club
With his century, Rohit became the only Indian opener to have scored a century in all three formats. Also, he joined an elite list of Indian openers to have registered a ton in their maiden innings in the role. He joined the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Prithvi Shaw.
In one of the most astounding stats, at the end of Day 1, Rohit Sharma averaged 98.22 in home conditions after 10 innings and this reads similar to what Donald Bradman averaged after 33 matches - he averaged 98.22 in 50 innings.
"I was told in the West Indies that this might happen in the next tour. So I was ready. I had been ready for the last two years. I knew I might have to open. It was about making a mental adjustment," Rohit said after the day's play.
"I think just wearing the pads and going in to bat suits my game," he further added.
This inning was stellar for Rohit and it vindicated the decision of the team management which was willing to back him and give him space in the new role. Ahead of the match, Kohli said that they were looking at backing Rohit in the new role.
"We have given people opportunities in the past. Mayank (Agarwal) came into the system, KL had been there for a while, (Murali) Vijay was there for a while. So there will always be room for people to come in because of their performances.
"But we feel because we have a Test championship to look forward to and Rohit's been in the Test set up for a long time it's about providing him with the opportunity and find that template that he wants to in Test cricket," the skipper said.