Rohit Sharma

After Rohit Sharma got out for a two-ball duck in the practice game for Board President’s XI against South Africa, question marks were raised over Virat Kohli & Co.’s decision to open with him in Test cricket. But when it mattered more, on Wednesday in Visakhapatnam, Rohit stood up and delivered with a stylish ton.

India’s latest makeshift opener was batting on 115 when bad light halted play at the stroke of Tea, and then the predicted downpour delayed the restart of proceedings.

Coming back to Rohit, it was a typical opener’s knock, where he initially weathered the storm from Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada before feasting on the spin of Keshav Maharaj and Dane Piedt. Rohit struck 12 fours and five sixes in a knock that would give him as well as the team management a lot of confidence.

For Rohit, the number written on his back doesn’t matter much. He wears 45 on his back.

Rohit Sharma jersey number 45

And when the right-hander was asked about the secret behind his jersey number, he said, “Well, it’s no secret. I still remember we were in Sri Lanka playing the under-19 World Cup and the match was being telecast on TV but we didn’t have a jersey number till then, it was blank.”

But before the semi-finals, the players were asked to choose a number. Rohit wanted the number 19, but it was not available. “When I did not get the number 19, I called my mom to suggest a number. She suggested 45. I have been playing with the same number since then,” he added.

The number 45 is also reflected in Rohit’s Twitter and Instagram accounts which is IamRo45.