Six Decembers back, Virender Sehwag butchered a hapless West Indies attack at Indore en route his second ODI double-hundred. His 219 stood as the highest ODI score till Rohit Sharma clobbered the 264 in November 2014. Stealing other’s limelight has become a ritual for Rohit. As if the mobile flashlights weren’t enough, Rohit decided to further illuminate the Holkar Stadium with fireworks off his willow.
Rohit has made it a habit of mauling Sri Lanka. Or, is he making up for the lost time? Rohit had a wretched run against Sri Lanka in between the India tour of Sri Lanka 2010 till that 264 in 2014.
Rohit against Sri Lanka across formats during that phase:
69, 41, 0, 11, 5, 10, 15, 5, 0, 0, 4, 4, 33, 5, 48*, 58, 13, 29 and then arrived the 264.
He had slammed 2 hundreds in Sri Lanka earlier this year. Last week, Rohit pummelled Sri Lanka at Mohali to register his third ODI double-hundred. Had this sequence not been stopped at Indore last night —0 0 4 0 4 0 11 6 0 1 4 0 41 6 1 1 4 1 44 1 6 6 4 4 14 0 6 6 6 6 40 0 0 1 6 4 6— the first ever T20 double-hundred would have been on the cards.
Rohit equalled the record for fastest T20I hundred. David Miller too had got to the mark in 35 balls. This is Rohit’s second hundred in T20Is.
12 fours, 10 sixes, 11 dots and 10 singles — sums up Rohit’s 43-ball 118 that set the platform for India’s 260, the second highest T20I total.
KL Rahul’s 49-ball 89 was no less brilliant. The opening partnership of 165 is an Indian record. Sri Lanka were shot out for 172.
“It is important that you try and play with the field. I want to score all round the park not just in one area. So, for me it is important that I try and explore the fielding that the opposition keep for me. In all formats, I try and do that, because hitting in just [one area] makes you predictable. It is always important to score runs all over the field, and that is my strength. So I try and stick to it and I try and play with the field,” Rohit told after the match.
It is easier said than done. Rohit does it time and again. And wait, it’s not a Chris Gayle or Brendon McCullum-like brute force.
There can be elegance in mauling too.
Rohit’s 10 sixes in an innings is the most by an Indian batsman in T20Is. Yuvraj had struck 7 during his Durban mayhem.
108 runs in Rohit’s innings came in boundaries. He became the third player to score over a hundred in boundaries. Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell were the first two.
The spotlight shifts to Wankhede Staidum, the host for the final T20I. This is Rohit’s home. Will it witness another carnage?
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