Former Indian cricketer Surinder Khanna on Sunday said that opening batsman Rohit Sharma answered his critics in the best possible manner by scoring centuries in both innings of the first Test match against South Africa.
His remarks came after the conclusion of the first Test match as India recorded a comprehensive 203-run win over South Africa at Visakhapatnam.
Rohit was exceptional in the match as he scored 176 in the first innings and then he went on to score 126 in the second innings. With this, he became only the second Indian opener to score centuries in both innings of a Test match.
"Rohit was opening for the first time. He scored centuries in both the innings and became only the second Indian to achieve this feat. There were questions over his spot as an opener but he answered his critics in the best possible manner," Khanna told ANI.
In the first innings, India scored 502 runs and in response, South Africa came up with a spirited performance, as they registered 431 runs on the board.
But in the second innings, in pursuit of 395, Proteas' innings folded for 191 runs as pacer Mohammad Shami scalped five wickets enabling India to register a victory before the tea interval.
"South Africa surprised all of us in the first innings, but in the second innings, they capitulated. Shami bowled an inspiring spell. Their tailenders Muthuswamy and Piedt put up a spirited fight and obviously they will learn from it to come back stronger in the second match," Khanna said.
In the match, Ravindra Jadeja became the quickest left-arm bowler to scalp 200 wickets in Tests while Ravichandran Ashwin became joint-fastest along with Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan to reach the milestone of 350 Test wickets.
"Jadeja and Ashwin have been performing very nicely for the team. Whenever Jadeja has been given an opportunity, he has performed for the side. In the second innings, Jadeja was outstanding, his accuracy was precise. The curator has to be lauded for preparing a good cricketing pitch," Khanna said.
"South Africa must learn from their mistakes. Proteas should play their pacers as it is their strength. Their spinners were ineffective as our side tackled them really well. In cricket you do not know anything, anyone can surprise on their day. South Africa has found a good player in Muthuswamy. He remained unbeaten in both the innings and showed grit while batting," he added.
With this win, India has now consolidated its position at the top of World Test Championship standings. The team now has 160 points from three matches.
India and South Africa will next take on each other in the second Test, slated to begin from October 10.
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