IND vs SA | Rohit Sharma answered his critics in best possible way, says Surinder Khanna
Former Indian cricketer Surinder Khanna believes that Rohit Sharma, who struck immaculate tons in both innings of his first Test, answered his critics in the best possible way. Khanna also feels that South Africa will have to learn from their mistakes and back their pacers heading into Pune.
While Rohit Sharma's credentials as an opener in limited-overs cricket has been unquestionable, there have always been question marks over his ability in Test cricket, mainly due to his inconsistency. So in a last-gasp attempt of sorts to salvage Rohit's Test career, the selectors and team management gave him the opportunity to open the batting and the Mumbaikar grabbed the opportunity with both hands, scoring over 300 runs in the match, including twin centuries.
Former Indian cricketer Surinder Khanna, who represented the country in 10 ODIs, believes that Rohit has answered his critics in the best possible manner with his blistering tons.
"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.
Khanna, a wicket-keeper batsman who played for India between 1979 and 1984, believes that South Africa sprung a surprise with their efforts in the first innings and also feels that Mohammed Shami's spell was an inspiring one. He also credited the efforts of Senuran Muthusamy and Dane Piedt with the bat, while also heaping praise on the spin twins Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja, who spun a web around the Proteas batsmen.
"South Africa surprised all of us in the first innings, but in the second innings, they capitulated. Shami bowled an inspired 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.
"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," he added.
A move of South Africa that invited criticism was their tactic to play three spinners and just go into the contest with two pacers. Despite pace being their strength, the visitors failed to back it and eventually ended up paying the price for it. Khanna feels that du Plessis and his men will have to learn from their mistakes and back their pacers heading into the second Test. He also lauded all-rounder Muthusamy and believes that the Proteas have found a gem in him.
"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 signed off.