Celebrating Rohit Sharma's Birthday With His Top 5 Test Knocks
Rohit Sharma turns 36 [AP Photos]
India’s all format skipper Rohit Sharma is widely regarded as one of the finest white-ball players in the world, having earned great success in limited-overs cricket. However, he has also made a mark in Test cricket after moving to opening the batting for India. His exceptional abilities as both a player and a leader have never been in question, and he has only grown stronger since his switch to opening the batting in Tests.
Rohit played a crucial role in India's success in the 2019 Cricket World Cup, which led to his promotion to opening the batting in Test matches in October of the same year, six years after his debut in the format. Prior to that, he had played 27 Tests and averaged 39.62 in a somewhat erratic red-ball career. However, he had already established himself as one of the best opening batsmen in the world in white-ball cricket.
Rohit was supposed to make his Test debut in 2010 against South Africa at home, but a pre-match football injury delayed his debut in the format for three years. He was given the chance to open in white-ball cricket in 2013, which turned his career around. Later that year, he made his Test debut and scored a century against the West Indies.
Six years after his Test debut, Rohit was given a fresh start against South Africa, the same team he missed his debut against. Since his recall to the Test side, he has never looked back and has proven himself as one of the best in the red-ball format. On his 36th birthday, let's take a look at his five best Test innings.
TOP 5 Test Knocks of Rohit Sharma
5) 120 off 212 balls against Australia in 2023
Rohit Sharma's outstanding performance in the first innings of the opening Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 between India and Australia was a sight to behold as he notched up his ninth century in the format. Despite a pitch that saw the next highest score being 49, the Indian captain showcased his masterclass of application, balancing the right mix of caution and aggression.
While the other batters struggled to cope with the low bounce or poor shot execution, Rohit seemed to be batting on a completely different pitch. He scored an impressive 120 runs off 212 balls, smashing 15 fours and two sixes. Thanks to his superb knock, India took a huge lead of 144 runs in their first innings by the end of the second day's play, eventually leading to their victory in the Test match.
4) 177 off 301 balls against West Indies in 2013
Rohit's first century was an exceptional one and held a special place in his heart. It was a challenging period for India when he arrived at the crease at his favorite venue, with the team's score at a precarious 82/4. Nevertheless, he played a sensational knock, forming crucial partnerships with MS Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin, and seizing control of the game. In his innings, Rohit scored 177 runs in 301 balls, laced with 23 boundaries and one six. He was awarded the Player of the Match award for his match-defining performance, as India triumphed over the opposition by an innings and 51 runs.
3) 212 off 255 balls against South Africa in 2019
Rohit made an impressive start as an opener in the Test series against South Africa, where he converted his sixth Test hundred into his first double century in the longest format. On the second day of the third and final Test match in Ranchi, Rohit attacked the Proteas bowlers after a tough opening hour. He scored 212 runs off 255 balls, including 28 fours and six sixes. He achieved his double century shortly after lunch on the second day but was dismissed soon after. With this feat, Rohit became the third player after Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag to score a double hundred in both Test matches and ODIs. His outstanding performance earned him the titles of Man of the Match and Man of the Series for his excellent form throughout the series, as he embraced his new role as a Test opener for India.
2) 161 off 231 balls against England in 2021
This innings from Rohit can arguably be regarded as one of his best performances in a home Test. It came at a crucial juncture for the Indian team, with the flamboyant opener being under the scanner for his poor run of form, having only scored one fifty-plus score in his last seven innings. In reply, Rohit put all the criticism to rest, leading the Indian batting charge with a remarkable knock of 161 runs off 231 balls on the challenging Chepauk pitch. Despite wickets tumbling at the other end, his attacking presence ensured that India posted a competitive total in the first innings against a spin-heavy English bowling attack. Riding on the back of Rohit's century, India secured a resounding 317-run victory over England in the second Test of the ongoing four-match series.
1) 127 from 256 balls against England in 2021
Rohit's incredible century in the Oval Test against England marked a breakthrough for the cricketer on foreign soil. With this being his eighth Test century, he achieved a remarkable milestone in the third day of the fourth Test at The Oval and also secured his first-ever Test century in the SENA country.
Despite opening in just his sixth Test match outside of India, Rohit persevered through a difficult morning session against the English seamers, who had already established a 99-run lead on Day 2. The top-order batter played with a composed grace, exhibiting impressive stroke play without being overly flamboyant, as the pacers relentlessly attacked him with good-length deliveries in overcast conditions. After an admirable innings, he was awarded the man of the match title for scoring his maiden century in away Tests, helping India win the Test by 157 runs, and securing a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.