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Shoaib Akhtar coins a new nickname for Rohit Sharma and expects 1000+ runs from him in next England Test tour

Now, this is some good recognition and praise coming from a veteran cricketer for India's Rohit Sharma.

Rohit Sharma Test century
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Despite rain playing spoilsport on day one of first India vs South Africa Test in Vizag, Rohit Sharma ensured he made all the right noises with his bat. Opening the batting with Mayank Aggarwal, the talented right-handed batsmen was imperious on his way to a stroke-filled 176. He and Aggarwal stitched together a fabulous partnership of 317 runs for the first wicket. This hundred being Sharma’s fourth in Test cricket is extremely special as it is his first game as an opener in the longest format of the game.

He was selected as the preferred choice to open the innings for the home season after established and talented players like Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Murali Vijay got their due and were not able to cement their spot in the team. Rohit on his part was patiently waiting in the sidelines and made the most of the placid conditions on offers at Vizag. He didn’t curb his natural style of play and went ahead on his free stroking manner.

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‘Add a G before your name’

Following his breezy, stroke-filled knock, Pakistan’s former speedster Shoaib Akhtar mentioned how he realized Rohit’s true potential in 2013. He said that he had asked the Indian batsman to add a G, for great, before his name (GRS = Great Rohit Sharma) and play in the manner going in with the mindset that he is the best batsmen in India.

The former Pakistan speedster never doubted the talent the Mumbai Indians skipper had as a Test player. He felt people haven’t seen the best from him in whites as he was getting into his shell too often and not expressing himself freely as he does in ODIs and T20Is.

Akhtar was rather appreciative of the manner in which Sharma went about his knock so far against the Proteas. He went on to provide examples of modern greats like Virat Kohli and Steven Smith who completely back their talent and skill and never play without courage. It’s their fearless attitude coupled with the abundance of talent that makes them so good in Test Cricket.

The former Pakistan player concluded by saying that in future when India take on England for a five-match series, he will go on to get 1000 runs in that series surpassing Smith’s run tally of 774 runs in the recently concluded Ashes series.

Now, this is some good recognition and praise coming from a veteran cricketer for India’s Rohit Sharma.

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