Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal gave India a solid start on the first day of the opening Test against South Africa. While Rohit scored a century in his very first innings as an opener in the longest format of the game, Mayank, too, played impressively, ending the day on 84.
Both the batsmen remained unbeaten at the end of the day as rain played spoilsport minutes before the tea break, as India reached 202 in 59.1 overs.
In a video posted by BCCI, where both the openers engage in an informal chat after the day’s play, Rohit Sharma provided insight about his mindset ahead of the game.
“I'm happy with how things planned out in the middle,” Rohit told Mayank.
“We knew once we play a few overs, it was on us to take the game forward. Unless you make mistakes on these kind of pitches, you can't get out.
"Ideally, once you're in, the focus is on hitting the gaps and trying on rotating the strike. It allowed us to bat naturally, the way we want to.”
Interview: Opening up with @ImRo45 & @mayankcricket— BCCI (@BCCI) October 2, 2019
India's smashing opening Test duo reflect on their respective innings after they posted a 200-run stand in Vizag at the end of Day 1 - by @RajalArora
📹📹https://t.co/b1LBfY7Eoo #INDvSA pic.twitter.com/h5r4WMqGrl
The Mumbai batsman also revealed that he knew he would open for India ‘at some stage’ long ago, during the side’s tour to Australia.
"I knew way back when we were in Australia that I might do open for India at some stage. Mentally, I was ready for that option. After the West Indies tour, the management made it very clear that I’ll open, so the preparation was based around that.
"I didn't have much hit in the practice game but I was very confident going into this game. I had a lot of practice sessions.
"It was a great day for Indian cricket. First day is always important to start, and we did that pretty well."
Rohit also asked his fellow opening partner on whether he tweaks with his shot selection on low and slow wickets, such as today’s.
"That's definitely something I focus on. On slow and low wickets, I try to play straight. The key is to play as long as possible," Mayank said.
On their plans for Day 2, Rohit said, "It's not going to be very easy for our bowlers as well, so the plan is very simple. We want to keep the scorecard ticking."