JOHANNESBURG – Rohit Sharma has waited nearly six years to exact vengeance on South Africa in a Test series. After scoring 529 runs in four innings, the 2019 series in India, can go by the moniker “Rohit’s Revenge.”
Back in Durban, in the second and final Test between the Proteas and India in 2013, Sharma got into some verbal jousting with Dale Steyn in the second innings of that match. Sharma really shouldn’t have had anything to say having been dismissed first ball by Steyn in the first innings.
But joust with the mouth Sharma did. “You’ve done nothing in your career,” Steyn told Sharma. “Let’s see what you do in India,” replied Sharma.
The trouble for Sharma is that Steyn had taken nearly more wickets in India, than Sharma had Test runs at the time. So distracted was the Indian batsman by the verbal toing and froing that Steyn didn’t even have to get him out. Vernon Philander did.
Coming into this series, Sharma averaged 12.41 against SA in 12 Test innings. He has been in and out of the Indian Test side since India’s tour of SA in 2017-18. In this series, the selectors gave him a chance at the top of the order. It’s a very different Sharma that this group of Proteas have encountered.