On Saturday, Indian opener Rohit Sharma lit up the Kennington Oval when he smashed a tremendous century during the second innings against England in the ongoing fourth Test. Rohit reached the triple-figure mark with a sensational six off Moeen Ali. It was the eighth hundred in Rohit’s glorious career and first in overseas conditions.

The Mumbaikar garnered praise from all corners, including former India batter VVS Laxman, who lavished praises on Rohit by recalling a conversation, explaining why the 34-year-old has been so successful as an opener.

Laxman remembered the South Africa series where Rohit opened for the first time in red-ball cricket and said the Nagpur-born wanted to follow the same template which gave him success in the limited-overs cricket.

“It came before the South Africa series. One very clear thing was that he was going to follow the formula which has given him a lot of success in white-ball cricket as an opener because even in those three double hundreds he got, there was one thing common that his first 10 overs or the start of the innings he took his own time. He was not in a hurry, which is a template for Rohit Sharma even when he scored those big runs in white-ball cricket,” Laxman told ESPNcricinfo.

Laxman mentioned that Rohit could have made it clear to the selection committee that he wants to bat in the middle-order, but he took up the challenge to open for Team India and proved his mettle at the international arena.

“What I saw was that he was ready to adopt that formula against South Africa. He knew where his off-stump was even when they were playing on classic Indian wickets. I will never forget that conversation because here was a player who’s already established himself as one of the greats in white-ball cricket, but he wanted to prove himself as an opener and took up a challenge. He could’ve told the selectors that they have to give him a chance in the middle-order but accepted the challenge he’s proved himself. Today I think he has made himself and the entire team and all the team who have been helpful in his success very, very proud of him,” added Laxman.

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