If there were any doubts about Rohit Sharma’s suitability for Test match cricket, they were effectively buried after the first day’s play of the 2nd test at Chennai.
The Indian opener slammed a magnificent 161 off just 231 balls, helping India reach a formidable 300 for six at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Rohit’s innings was studded with 18 fours and 2 sixes including a majestic pulled six off Ben Stokes.
However India began badly.
Seeking to level the four-match series after their defeat in the first Test, India opted to bat after winning the toss.
The pacy Olly Stone struck in the second over, after pinning Shubman Gill lbw, who offered no shot.
Rohit and Cheteshwar Pujara then played positively during an 85-run partnership at more than four an over.
But Pujara and captain Virat Kohli, who has also failed to open his account, fall in quick succession as they slumped to 86 for three.
The innings hung in balance but Rahane, heavily criticised for his failures in the first test, played with a calm assurance and forged a 162 run partnership for the fourth wicket.
The wicket was a veritable dust bowl and the ball was turning square even on Day 1. But the English spinners were lacking in consistency.
Moeen Ali, went at more than four an over, despite picking up the wickets of Kohli and Rahane.
India lost three wickets in the final session after posting a healthy 248 for three at tea.
At stumps, Rishabh Pant and debutant Axar Patel were batting on 33 and 5, respectively.
Pant and Axar will look to swell the total further on day two.
As for England, they will look for more control from their spinners and wickets from Broad and Stone with the new ball.
Overall, a great day for India thanks to Rohit Sharma’s explosive innings.