By the numbers: Rohit Sharma’s Bradman-esque Test record at home
After Rohit Sharma fell for a duck in the practice game for Board President’s XI against South Africa, question marks were raised over the decision to open with him in Test cricket. But when it mattered more, on Wednesday at Visakhapatnam, Rohit stood up and delivered with a classy ton.
India’s latest makeshift opener was batting on 115 when bad light halted play at the stroke of tea, and then the predicted downpour delayed the restart of proceedings.
Coming back to Rohit, it was a typical opener’s knock, where he initially weathered the storm from Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada before feasting on the spin of Keshav Maharaj and Dane Piedt. Rohit hit a total of 12 fours and five sixes in a knock that would give him as well as the team management a lot of confidence.
At the other end, Mayank Agarwal played the perfect supporting role, remaining unbeaten on 84 off 183 balls, with India sitting pretty at 202 for no loss after 59.1 overs.
Rohit’s hundred at Visakhapatnam is his fourth in India, and has brought into focus his amazing Test record at home which, till now, had surprisingly gone unnoticed.
In 10 matches at home so far (including the Visakhapatnam Test), Rohit has scored 884 runs at an average of 98.22, with all his four hundreds coming in India. He famously made centuries in his first two Tests, against West Indies in November 2013 – 177 on debut at Kolkata followed by an unbeaten 111 at Mumbai in Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell Test.
Rohit had to wait four years for his third Test hundred, which came at Nagpur against Sri Lanka in November 2017 - a Test India won by a massive margin of an innings and 239 runs. And now, he has notched up his maiden Test hundred as an opener at Visakhapatnam, in his very first game at that batting position.
Rohit’s horror away record
While Rohit’s Test record in India is sensational, he has been equally poor away from home, which is the chief reason why he hasn’t been a permanent fixture in India’s Test squad. In away games, Rohit averages 26.32 from 18 Tests, with 816 runs.
Rohit has a particularly poor record in South Africa, with just 123 runs in four Tests at an average of 15.37 and a best of 47. In Australia, he averages 31 after five Tests, with a best of 63 not out.
He has played just one Test in England and averages 17. New Zealand is the only place away from home where Rohit averages in excess of 40 – 40.66 from two Tests to be precise.
Rohit will need to correct this anomaly for him to be India’s Test opener in the long run.
Also see - Live cricket scorePublished 02 Oct 2019, 16:14 IST