Bengaluru: India opener Rohit Sharma has been in brilliant form in the ongoing Test series against South Africa. He has already broken several records. And if he continues to play in the same vein, he can break Australian batsman Steve Smith’s feat, feels former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

In the current third Test against the Proteas in Ranchi, Rohit struck his maiden Test double century (212). He is only the fourth batsman in game’s history to have scored a double ton in both Tests and ODIs. In the 50-over format, he has three 200-plus scores.

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Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Chris Gayle are the other three who are in the elite club of scoring 200-plus scores in both formats.

Akhtar, who recently praised Virat Kohli’s captaincy in the longer version of the game, has now called Rohit a “great batsman” and opined that the Mumbai right-hander can score 1,000-plus runs in a Test series. He also said Rohit can break Smith’s record. Recently, Smith accumulated a record 774 runs in the five-match Ashes Test rubber.

“If he continues playing in the form he is playing, he can easily break Steve Smith’s record and score thousand runs in a Test series. Finally, Rohit has arrived in Test cricket and will now become a brand,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.

“Now, everyone will admit that Rohit Sharma was a great batsman and is a great batsman. He collected runs at will in limited-overs cricket. However, he realised that he was missing out on bigger action — Test cricket.

“He now wants to make it up for the time he has lost by not playing Test cricket in the last five years. Had he played Test cricket, he would have easily scored 8000-9000 runs by now,” he added.

For the first time during the South Africa series, Rohit opened the batting in Tests. He succeeded instantly by scoring twin centuries in the first match in Visakhapatnam. He also broke record for most number of sixes in a Test rubber, as he has so far hit 18 sixes.

He has already scored 500-plus runs in the three-match Freedom Series (Gandhi-Mandela Trophy). India have already sealed the series with an unassailable 2-0 lead.