Rohit Sharma six

Rohit Sharma’s dream run with the bat continued in the first innings for India as the flamboyant batsman added yet another feather to his already bulky cap after he came out to open on Day 1 of the third Test against South Africa in Ranchi on Saturday.

After launching a Dane Piedt delivery into the stands – his third of the innings and 16th of the year – in the 43rd over, Rohit surpassed England all-rounder Ben Stokes (15) to become the batsman to hit the most number of sixes in 2019. The 32-year-old hit 13 sixes in the Vizag Test wherein he scored twin hundreds.

With the massive six off Dane Piedt, Rohit also went on to set a new world record of maximum sixes hit by a batsman in a Test series. He thus surpassed Windies’ southpaw Shimron Hetmyer who had hit 15 sixes during the two-match series against Bangladesh in December 2018.

As many as six players hit exactly 14 sixes in a Test series but no one could go past that mark until Hetmyer. Rohit now has 17 maximums across four innings in this series. Eleven of those came in the bowling of the Proteas off-spinner Dane Piedt.

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Playing in his 30th Test match, Rohit also registered his sixth Test century overall. From 39/3, he held the Indian innings along with statemate Ajinkya Rahane. The duo stitched a fourth-wicket partnership (152 runs and counting) to stage a rescue act.

Rohit took 86 balls to complete his fifty, but the next 50 runs came off just 48 deliveries.

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At stumps, he was unbeaten on 117 off 164 balls (14×4, 4×6). Giving him company is Rahane – 83 off 135 (11X4, 1×6) -and India is comfortably placed at 224/3.