Partnership with Ambati Rayudu game-changing: Rohit Sharma
Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma were involved in a 211-run stand. (AFP Image)

Rohit Sharma struck his second century of his series during the fourth ODI against West Indies at the Brabourne Stadium, and while his knock was instrumental in paving way for India’s huge 224-run win, it was his partnership with Ambati Rayudu that played an equal part. India were 101 for 2 and had lost Virat Kohli for 16. West Indies were over the moon having sent back the thorn in their eyes, but if there was a chance to build on it, Rohit and Rayudu took it away from them with a 211-run stand for the third wicket.

During his knock, Rohit surpassed Sachin Tendulkar to become India’s second-highest six-hitter in ODIs and notched up his seventh 150-plus score for India. Rayudu, on the other hand, scored his third ODI century for India with eight fours and four sixes, and in the company of Rohit put West Indies under pressure. India benefitted from their huge stand and finished on a mammoth 377 for 5.

“We were very clinical right from the start. After losing two wickets, I had mentioned this earlier about having a big partnership and that was a game-changing partnership. All the four games that we have played, we have had some big partnerships which has allowed us to stay in the game,” Rohit, named Man of the Match, said. “Once you are set, you’ve got to make it count and that is what me and Rayudu did in the middle. We carried for as long as we did. That eventually turned out to be the match winning partnership.”

Rohit was also high on praise for the way the Indian bowlers responded. Khaleel Ahmed picked up 3 for 13 to leave the West Indies chase in tatters at 56 for 6, before Kuldeep Yadav picked the bones and finished with 3 for 42.

“Heartening to see the way we bowled as bowling unit. It was a long time coming, this kind of performance from the bowlers. Really happy to see a very dominating performance from the bowlers. The spinners were turning it, the pacers were swinging it, so all is well,” Rohit said.

In addition to his impressive 162, Rohit also grabbed three sharp catches at first slip to dismiss Marlon Samuels, Fabian Allen and Ashley Nurse. “I’ve been doing some slip-catching for a while. Been doing that for a while now,” Rohit mentioned. “Good to get some catches, and it is important to hold those catches as there will be catches coming at you all the time. Especially if you’re fielding in the slips for Kuldeep, it isn’t easy to read his hands. When you play him in the nets, it is easy to understand when he is going to bowl that googly and I got to be ready for it.”