Rohit Sharma smashed his maiden double ton to decimate South Africa in Tests against Ranchi. (Photo Credit: PTI)
Rohit Sharma smashed his maiden double century and continued his record-breaking run in the ongoing series against South Africa at the JSCA stadium in Ranchi. Rohit neared the landmark with two consecutive boundaries off Anrich Nortje when the second new ball was taken and he confidently neared his landmark. Rohit survived an inside edge onto his stumps off Kagiso Rabada as he moved to 199. The right-hander notched up his double ton by hitting Lungi Ngidi for a big six. He had gotten to his century with a six and he repeated the feat for his double ton. He also hot his 50th six in Tests, also creating a record. Barring the Pune Test, Rohit has enjoyed a spectacular run when he became the sixth Indian player to hit a century in both innings of a Test during the Vizag match against the same opponents. This was the second double century in Ranchi, with Cheteshwar Pujara slamming 202 against Australia in 2017.
Rohit held firm at the other end, neogitating Rabada's pace and being patient. After being beaten by Rabada, Rohit got going with a streaky four off Lungi Ngidi. Rabada hit Rohit on the glove as he negotiated the first hour in a tricky way. However, when South Africa decided to bowl short, Rohit unfurled the pull shot and he found the boundary on a regular basis. With Rohit attacking, South Africa strayed in their lines and the Mumbai right-hander pounced on it. Rohit neared his fifty with a top-edged six off Nortje over fine leg and he reached his fifty in style with a straight drive to the long off fence.
With Ajinkya Rahane playing aggressively and matching Rohit stroke for stroke, the partnership crossed 100 and the Proteas bowling was deflated. Rohit grew in confidence with every passing minute, flicking left-arm spinner George Linde and driving Nortje with ease through the covers. Ngidi felt the wrath of Rohit when the batsman smashed two boundaries off him, one through deep extra cover and one to fine leg.
The introduction of Dane Piedt increased Rohit's aggression as he smashed two sixes off the spinner to cross the 90s. With those two sixes off Piedt, Rohit broke the record for the most sixes by an Indian player in a bilateral Test series. Previously, Harbhajan Singh had held the record with 14 sixes during India's series against New Zealand in 2010. Rohit notched up his century in grand style as he blasted Piedt over long off.