Ranchi (IANS) Rohit Sharma struck his maiden double century in Test cricket while Ravindra Jadeja scored a fifty and pacer Umesh Yadav smashed a whirlwind 10-ball 31 as India declared at 497/9 when tea was called, on Day 2 of the third Test here on Sunday.
In the first session, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane notched up his 11th hundred to snap a lengthy lean patch of three years without one at home.
However, the day belonged to Rohit who reached the milestone with a six off pacer Lungi Ngidi in the third over after lunch to a standing ovation from the home crowd. Rohit was out for 212 from 255 balls (28x4, 6x6).
In the process, Rohit became the fourth batsman to hit a double hundred in Test and ODI cricket emulating Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Chris Gayle.
Overnight batters Rohit and Rahane continued from where they had left off after bad light stopped play on Day 1 with a 267-run partnership for the fourth wicket before Rahane (115 off 192 balls; 17x4; 1x6) was caught behind by debutant wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen off fellow first-timer George Linde who scalped his first Test wicket and went on to finish best figures of 4/133.
Rahane, who was batting on 83, brought up his century in 169 balls.
At the other end, Rohit continued to shine as an opener in the longest format as he reached 150 in 199 deliveries after resuming on 117.
India were 224/3 when play started on the second day and Rohit and Rahane milked the bowlers to the boundary fence with relative ease.
In came Jadeja at No. 6 and joined Rohit who moved to the 190s from 150 in no time as the visiting team bowlers seemed to lack the firepower to maul the marauding Indian opener who also hit a six to get to his century on Day 1.
Rohit hit Andrich Nortje (1/79) for back-to-back boundaries in the 84th over, the penultimate before lunch, to race to 196 and in the last over before the break survived few edges off Kagiso Rabada to move to 199 from 242 balls, his innings of six and half hours laced with 28 fours and four sixes.
Jadeja extended his purple patch with the bat with a second consecutive fifty but fell just after achieving the landmark, caught behind off Linde for 51 off 119 deliveries, his knock studded with four fours.
Stumper Wriddhiman Saha (24) was castled by Linde while Ravichandran Ashwin managed 14 before Umesh plundered five sixes in his entertaining cameo to take the total close to 500. Umesh was finally removed by Linde who was hit big by the pacer as he skied the ball for 'keeper Klaasen to complete the catch.
Debutant Shahbaz Nadeem (1 not out) and Mohammed Shami (10 not out) were at the crease when Virat Kohli called them off the field.
Besides Linde, pace spearhaead Rabada took three wickets.
Brief Scores: India: 497/9d (Rohit Sharma 212, Ajinkya Rahane 115; Ravindra Jadeja 51, George Linde 4/133, Kagiso Rabada 3/85) vs South Africa