Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal break Gautam Gambhir-Virender Sehwag opening record vs South Africa

Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal have set a new record in their maiden Test as opening partners. The duo has broken a 15-year-old record for the highest opening stand for India in Test matches against South Africa held by Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma went past 218 — the tally achieved by Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in Kanpur in 2004-05 season — in the morning session of Day 2 of the ongoing 1st Test in Visakhapatnam.

Notably, Rohit and Mayank have also set a new record for the highest opening stand in India vs South Africa Tests previously held by AC Hudson and Gary Kirsten in 1996. The India duo broke the 22-year-old record when the opening stand went past 236 runs on Thursday.

3rd Indian opening pair to post 300-plus opening stand

Rohit and Mayank carried on and took their opening stand past the 300-run mark. They have become only the third Indian opening pair after Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy and Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag to post 300-plus stand for the 1st wicket in Tests. This was also only the 14th instance in Test cricket that an oipening pair has posted more than 300 runs.

Rohit Sharma completed his fourth Test hundred and his first as opener on Wednesday, punishing the South Africa bowlers with an array of eye-catching strokes. India made the gamble to promote Rohit to the top of the batting order after consistent failures from the likes of KL Rahul, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan in Tests over the last 24 months.

In fact, Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal became India’s 9th different opening pair since July 2017. India, it seems, have finally found success, considering the dominant fashion in which Mayank and Rohit have gone about their business in the ongoing Test against South Africa.

Mayank and Rohit contiued dominating the bowlers as India began Day 2 on overnight score of 202 for 0. Mayank completed his maiden Test hundred inside the first hour of Day 2 as the Indian openers showed no signs of slowing down.

It is also the 10th instance of both the Indian openers scoring hundreds in the same innings of a Test match. The last Indian pair to do so was Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan in 2018 against Afghanistan in Bengaluru.

Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma were made to look ugly by South Africa pacers Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander who were on top of their marks on an overcast Wednesday morning. However, both the openers took their time to settle into their innings and resisted the urge of throwing their bats at everything that came their way.

There was no stopping the two batsmen once they settled into their innings. The duo was severe against South Africa spinners with both Rohit and Mayank hitting them at will.