For Indian bowlers, first day, first show in South Africa was a big hit. But was not the same for the batsmen. After bowling the hosts out for 286, the Virat Kohli-led team were in trouble at 28/3 on the opening day of the first Test in Cape Town.
Today (January 6) is a big day for the team and also Rohit Sharma.
Paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar snuffed out the Proteas top order taking three wickets in the first half hour of the Test yesterday (January 5) at Newlands stadium. From 12/3, South Africa recovered to post 286.
It was a day when 13 wickets tumbled and both team's top order faltered in conditions conducive to fast bowling. Bhuvneshwar was the star with four wickets for 87 runs.
India's bowling attack, hailed by many as the "best" compared to previous eras, did live up to the tag. Now the onus is on the batsmen to deliver. It won't be easy on second morning as Rohit (0) and Cheteshwar Pujara (16) resume batting on Saturday.
It is a very important day for Rohit, the Mumbai right-hander. He has to score runs not only to rescue India but also prove himself overseas in red ball cricket and also save captain Virat Kohli, head coach Ravi Shastri from further criticism.
Kohli was attacked on social media on Friday for dropping Ajinkya Rahane in favour of Rohit. Agreed that Rahane had a poor series at home against Sri Lanka, but his record in away Tests is impressive. But still Kohli and the team management chose to not pick him for first Test.
In his previous two Tests (Johannesburg and Durban in December 2013) in South Africa, Rohit has managed a total of 45 runs in four innings. His scores were 14, 6, 0 and 25.
The 30-year-old Rohit wears number 45 jersey for India in the limited-overs format and also in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Mumbai Indians (MI).
When he walks out to bat with Pujara today, he will hoping to quickly get off the mark and add to his tally of 45 runs in South Africa. It will be big test for him against the South African quicks. The pitch is likely to assist the fast bowlers in the morning.
Last month (December 2017), Rohit enjoyed high sucess, scoring a historic third double ton in ODIs and also hitting the joint-fastest hundred in T20Is, both against Sri Lanka, at home.
There is no doubt about Rohit, the limited-overs batsman but his Test credentials are always questioned. He has played 23 Tests and averages 42.45.
He spent more than a year on the sidelines before returning to the five-day arena in November 2017 against Sri Lanka. He justified his selection with a 102 not out in Nagpur.
Now again Rohit has to prove himself and also justify his captain and coach.
Can he do it?