When he hit a tossed up Moeen Ali wide of off delivery, there would have been not more than little doubt that Rohit Sharma has raised his maiden away Test century – England, of all the places in the world, where batting, especially opening in Test cricket has always been extremely difficult.
Rohit Sharma had hit his maiden Test century on his debut Test in 2013, in Kolkata. His next 6 Test centuries – while being in, out, and then finally in of the side – also came at home.
Runs in Test cricket prove one’s talent; centuries provide a glimpse of the potential; centuries away from home display class and temperament. The 34-year-old opener, in his second, or this coming in Test cricket has achieved that: a silence to all his critics who have questioned his longevity away from home, on pitches which offer assistance to pacers; conditions which demand incredible patience.
And Rohit Sharma has been patient – right from the WTC final against New Zealand, when he scored the thirties in both the innings, but failed to carry on. He then notched up a couple of fifties in the three Tests in this series against England as well, including a score of 83, but again, the three-figure mark eluded him.
Not today, at The Oval, when on 94, he reached there in an emphatic fashion – sort of the white-ball Rohit Sharma.
Off his 218 balls till Tea on Day 3, he has leftover 150 balls alone, while stroked 12 fours along with a maximum. He has been lucky, though, as well, given two reprieves by Rory Burns.
He saw off every pacer in their opening spells, before cashing on them in their subsequent ones while there was not much threat from Moeen Ali either, whom he disdainfully picked up and launched over wide long-on for half-a-dozen to bring up his ton.
And while Rohit Sharma may not have celebrated his hundred in an expressive way – he didn’t remove the helmet either not any jump in the air or any prolonged wave of the bat – it was his teammates, in particular, skipper Virat Kohli, who was utterly elated; the entire crowd stood up too, to applaud arguably the greatest – now all-format – opener of his generation.
Watch: Rohit Sharma brings up his century with a six
First century outside India for the Hitman!
He gets there with a monster six over long on!
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India’s lead has also touched 100 runs by Tea on Day 3.