New Delhi: Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar believes star Indian opener Rohit Sharma, who has been in immaculate form in his debut Test series as opener, is taking revenge on himself for not performing in the last few years in red-ball cricket.
Before the ongoing South Africa series, Rohit had been batting down the order and wasn’t a regular feature of the Indian playing XI in Test cricket owing to his inconsistent performance.
However, his brilliant run in the limited-overs version forced the team management to include him for the Proteas Tests as a designated opener. And he immediately paid dividends.
Rohit has so far scored three centuries in his debut series as opener against the Proteas. In the four innings he has played so far in the series, Rohit has scored 529 runs including a double hundred.
“Now, everyone will admit that Rohit Sharma was a great batsman and is a great batsman. He collected runs at will in limited-overs cricket. However, he realized that he was missing out on bigger action – Test cricket,” Akhtar said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
“I think Rohit Sharma is now realising what he is capable off. He is batting in one-day style only. He is hitting big sixes and scoring freely. He is now taking revenge from his own self,” he added.
Rohit’s brilliant 212 in the ongoing Test at Ranchi helped him break legendary Don Bradman’s record for the highest Test average at home after 10-plus innings.
He now averages 99.84 at home, edging past Bradman’s average of 98.22. The 32-year-old has now amassed 1,298 runs in 18 innings in Tests at home, which includes six centuries and five half-centuries.
“He now wants to make it up for the time he has lost by not playing Test cricket in the last five years. Had he played Test cricket, he would have easily scored 8000-9000 runs by now,” said Akhtar.
“If he continues playing in the form he is playing, he can easily break Steve Smith’s record and score thousand runs in a Test series.
“Finally, Rohit has arrived in Test cricket and will now become a brand,” he added.