Rohit Sharma continued his brilliant run-scoring form, registering his first Test double hundred before India’s pacers dented an already scarred South Africa top-order to gain complete control in the third and final match of the series in Ranchi on Sunday.

Revelling in his new avatar as an opener in the longest format, the stylish Mumbaikar smashed his way to 212 off 258 balls in the company of vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (115), as India declared their first innings at 497/9.

Before bad light stopped play on the second day, South Africa were reduced to 9/2 in five overs. Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav removed Dean Elgar (0) and Quinton de Kock (4) respectively in their single over bursts, creating all sorts of discomfort.

The second day again belonged to Sharma, who scored his first double century in the longest format. His innings had 28 boundaries and six sixes but, more importantly, it was the languid grace that stood out. The extra second to play those square cuts and the pull shots were exactly what a sparse Sunday crowd needed to rejuvenate themselves.

Batting on 199, the effortlessness with which he dispatched an express delivery from Lungi Ngidi into the mid-wicket stands with a front-foot pull, brought back memories of Virender Sehwag, fittingly on the latter’s birthday.

Rahane, who has been back in form since the tour of the West Indies, also looked solid during his 11th Test hundred and the first in India in three years – the last coming against New Zealand (October, 2016) in Indore.

The duo added 267 runs for the fourth wicket to set a solid platform before Ravindra Jadeja (51 off 119 balls) and Umesh Yadav (31 off 10 balls with five sixes) provided the final impetus.

Here are the statistical highlights from the day’s play:

  • Rohit Sharma has a higher average at home in Tests than Sir Donald Bradman.

Best average in home Tests (min 500 runs)

Player Span Matches (Inns) Runs Highest Ave 100s / 50s
RG Sharma (INDIA) 2013-2019 12 (18) 1298 212 99.84 6 / 5
DG Bradman (AUS) 1928-1948 33 (50) 4322 299* 98.22 18 / 10
AC Voges (AUS) 2015-2016 8 (12) 690 269* 86.25 3 / 1
GA Headley (WI) 1930-1954 10 (18) 1241 270* 77.56 5 / 2
SPD Smith (AUS) 2010-2018 29 (50) 3090 239 77.25 13 / 10
Courtesy: ESPNCricinfo Statsguru

  • Rohit Sharma, who has already broken the world record for most number of sixes in a series, has so far amassed 529 runs to become only the fifth Indian opener to score 500-plus runs in a bilateral face-off. Gavaskar had achieved it five times in his Test career and Sehwag was the last Indian to achieve the feat, having scored 544 runs against Pakistan in a three-Test series at home in 2004-’05.
  • Rohit Sharma also joined Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Chris Gayle to notch 200-plus scores in both ODI and Test formats.
  • By reaching his 200 with a six, Rohit Sharma became the first Indian to do so in Tests.
  • Here are the other stats from his 212-run knock:

  • Rahane also ended a three-year wait for a century in India and broke records with his mammoth partnership with Rohit Sharma.

  • But perhaps the most entertaining passage of play on Sunday was Umesh Yadav’s record-breaking 10-ball blitz.