All the experience Rohit Sharma has accumulated over the years came to the fore in Vizag: Virat Kohli

All the experience Rohit Sharma has accumulated over the years came to the fore in Vizag: Virat Kohli


  • Rohit Sharma was adjudged man-of-the-match for his 176 and 127 in the 1st Test
  • Rohit is the 1st batsman in history to score 2 hundreds while opening for the first time in a Test
  • Rohit also broke the record for the most sixes hit in a single Test with 13 maximums vs South Africa in Vizag

India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday urged critics and the media to leave Rohit Sharma alone and let him enjoy his batting in Test cricket for now.

Rohit made a smashing debut as opener in the longest format for India, scoring 176 and 127 in the Vizag Test to set up a 203-run victory for the hosts against South Africa.

KL Rahul's repeated failures at the top made the Indian team management go ahead with Rohit as the second opener with Mayank Agarwal in the first Test and it turned out to be a masterstroke as Rohit became the only player in history to hit two centuries while opening for the first time in red-ball cricket.

"Come on give the guy a break now. He has done well. Let him enjoy his batting at the top of the order. Let him have fun like he does in white-ball cricket. Stop focussing on what Rohit is going to do in Tests. He is in a great space. He is playing really well.

"He looked relaxed in the 1st Test which is a great thing. All the experience he has accumulated over the years came to the fore. He is feeling absolutely at home at the top of the order. For us, the team, it's a huge bonus.

"If you see the way he played in the 2nd innings, the way he has the ability to take the the tempo of the game forward, that allows the bowlers to have an extra hour and a half of maybe 2 hours to bowl the opposition out.

"So, look if a guy like him at the top order plays the way he did in the first Test, we are going to be in situations from where we can go for victories in most of the Test matches. We are all very happy for him," Virat Kohli said at the press conference ahead of the 2nd Test against South Africa in Pune.

Kohli also spoke about the Indian team combination for the second match and made it clear that Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will always be their first-choice spinners in home Tests.

"It's purely combination. A lot has been said and spoken about the system that we have followed in the last 2 years. The only thing that matters to us is wanting to win as many games as we can. We have been able to do it. We have among the least losing percentages.

"We don't want to be rigid in our thinking saying this is how we need to go forward. We want to be flexible. It can't be possible if the team doesn't buy into it. The players have bought into it and people are just wanting to contribute.

"No one is self-centered. Everyone is thinking about how to contribute to the team's win. Same with Kuldeep as well. He understands the combination. In India, Ashwin and Jadeja are going to be our first-choice spinners. They also contribute so much with the bat as well. For us, it's about finding the best balance and it's purely combination well," Kohli said.