The Indian cricket team started the 3-match Test series against South Africa in style, by defeating South Africa in the first Test by 203 runs. There are many special things associated with this series. Rohit Sharma not only made his Test debut in the first match of the series but also scored big centuries in both innings of the match. Mayank Agarwal opened a Test innings for the first time in his career and hit a double century. What could be the better start of a batsman’s career!
Rohit Sharma opened the innings with Mayank Agarwal, the 28-year old Karnataka batsman. The reason for choosing Rohit as the opening batsman on the Test team was his excellent performance as an opening batsman in both T20 and ODI matches and Rohit proved the selectors right. The coach, Ravi Shastri is optimistic that Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal will do a great job as openers in the series.
It was after 47 years that two new batsmen opened in a Test match. For Mayank Agarwal, it was the first international Test match in homeland. Mayank made his India debut against Australia in December 2018. He has shown immense potential as a batsman and has scored three half-centuries and a double century in his 8 innings so far. Just two weeks ago, he played the series against the West Indies.
He was seen working hard on the net. Opening batsman, Mayank Aggarwal is expected not only to score big runs in the series but also to create good chemistry with Rohit Sharma as an opening batsman. Both Mayank and Rohit will have to be careful with their shot selection as South Africa has great pace bowlers in the form of Kagiso Rabada, Venon Philander and Lungi Ngidi. They can only give a good start by not giving any chance to the bowlers.
Mayank Agarwal has strong roots in domestic cricket and when he got the chance in international cricket, he utilized every opportunity. In the series against the West Indies series, he showed great appetite for runs. Sharing his experience about international cricket game, he said that he could not forget his roots and he is getting used to the challenges of the international format.
With both the new openers hitting big tons, the Indian team seems to have found a great opening pair, at least for the ongoing series and the one against Bangladesh immediately following it.