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By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Nov 2, 2013
Rohit Sharma‘s brilliant 209 off 158 balls took India to a mammoth 383 for six in the seventh One-Day International (ODI) against Australia at Bangalore. Records kept tumbling at Bangalore as Rohit hit the most sixes by an Indian in an ODI (16) and also completed 1,000 runs in the calendar year. All the Diwali fireworks were at the M Chiunnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
Australian skipper George Bailey won the toss and elected to bowl first. The decision was quite obvious going by the trends in the series so far. Australia had one change as Mitchell Johnson was on his way back home to prepare for the Ashes and Nathan Coulter-Nile replaced him. For India, R Vinay Kumar came in place of Amit Mishra.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit started off well as they punished the poor deliveries. Dhawan in particular was at his dominant best. Clint McKay had a terrible day as he wasn’t finding his line and was at the receiving end of Dhawan’s blade. The moment he got onto his pads, he was flicked away with disdain through the leg-side.
While Rohit was more sedate initially, he did essay a few good shots. James Faulkner was simply lofted into the stands early in the innings for a six to show that he was in form. As Rohit motored along, Dhawan was continuing to attack and moved to his fifty in 43 balls. Then there was a rain interruption at the end of 17 overs and the players were off the field for a little while.
Once play resumed, Dhawan was the first two go as Xavier Doherty dismissed him leg-before for 60 and it was the left-arm spinner’s first wicket in the series. Virat Kohli walked out to huge cheers as he plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, there was disappointment in store as an ugly mix-up with Rohit saw him run-out for naught. At that stage, India were 113 for two in the 20th over.
Suresh Raina then came in at number four and survived a few nervous moments as the Australian pacemen kept testing him outside the off-stump. Meanwhile, Rohit got to his 50 off 71 balls. What followed was carnage! Glenn Maxwell and Doherty were searching for cover as Rohit took a liking for them. In the space of five overs i.e. between the 26th and the 29th, he hit a total of five sixes. Most of them were over mid-wicket as he waltzed down the ground and lofted them with disdain.
Raina had his moments, but was dismissed by Doherty is a manner similar to Dhawan’s fall. Yuvraj Singh entered the stage with a lot of pressure and would have felt better when a top-edge off Nathan Coulter-Nile sailed over square-leg for six. But, his innings was short-lived as he edged one off Faulkner and was caught brilliantly by Brad Haddin.
After Yuvraj’s fall, there was a lot of pressure exerted by the Aussies on the Indians. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rohit started off slowly and then accelerated. Rohit took time to get to his ton, but once he did, he unleashed an array of huge strokes.
When they strayed on his pads, he merely guided them for six. He could have been out caught, but the chance at square-leg went through Moises Henriques’s hands and went for six.
Doherty also bore the brunt of Sharma’s fury as he was smashed for 26 in an over at the death. In the penultimate over bowled by Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rohit moved close to 200 with a few big hits as Dhoni got to his 50 off 34 balls. Rohit got his second hundred in only 42 balls. He got to his double ton with a six in the last over off McKay. He then smashed another six off the next ball before being caught at square-leg. Dhoni finished the innings of with a few boundaries before being run-out off the final ball.
This has been a series of high scores, but will Australia be able to chase this total? They need a special effort!
India 383 for 6 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 209, MS Dhoni 62; Xavier Doherty 2 for 74) vs Australia
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