Indian batsman Rohit Sharma on Saturday added yet another feather on his already illustrious cap by becoming only the second batsman after former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar to score three or more centuries as an opener in a Test series.
The 32-year-old reached the mark on the opening day of the inconsequential third and final Test against South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex.
Sharma scored his third century of the series and sixth overall in the longest format of the game by smashing Dane Piedt for a maximum in the 45th over.
By doing so, the right-handed batsman also equaled legendary Test batsman Sunil Gavaskar's record of scoring three or more tons as opener in a Test series. Notably, Gavaskar had achieved the feat thrice in his decorated career.
Opting to bat first, India lost opener Mayank Agarwal (10), first drop Cheteshwar Pujara (duck) and skipper Virat Kohli (12) cheaply before opener Rohit stitched an unbeaten 185-run stand with Ajinkya Rahane (83) for the fourth wicket to guide India to 224/3 in the first innings as bad light forces early stumps on the first day.
Sharma eventually finished the day with an unbeaten knock of 117, including 14 boundaries and four sixes. En route to the same, Sharma also surpassed West Indies' Shimron Hetmyer to become the batsman with most number of sixes in a Test series.
The Indian opener has amassed a total of 17 maximums in the ongoing Test series so far to overcome Hetmyer's tally of 15 which came during his side's two-match series against Bangladesh in 2018.
Earlier, Sharma, for the very first time, was asked to open the batting for India in Tests during the ongoing series after KL Rahul was ruled out because of poor form.
Sharma did not dissappoint the national selectors as he went on to smash a number of records on his Test debut as opener like becoming first Indian batsman to score tons in all three formats as opener, fourth batsman from the country to score a century while opening the innings for the first time in Tests and second Indian batsman after former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid to notch up six straight fifty-plus scores on home soil among some other achievements.