The year was 2013 and the date was November 2, the whole nation was celebrating Diwali and all people could hear were the loud noises of firecrackers. The game of Cricket, at the same time, head the loudest firecrackers at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
There was a man who ensured that Bengaluru was lit up with lights and made such a loud noise, which will be deafening for years to come. That man was Rohit Sharma.
Before heading to the final ODI of the series against Australia, the series was evenly poised by 2-2. One match of the series was washed out while the other bore no result. This match was crucial for both the teams and they had to give their 100 percent to put the final nail in the coffin.
India started the proceedings on a positive note, with openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma playing their shots freely. But Rohit was in no mood to take singles and doubles and right away went for the boundaries. He struck a beautiful boundary off Nathan Coulter-Nile and the way he played that shot, it seemed that Rohit has come out with an attacking intent. The hosts were at 112 for no loss when the first wicket fell and it was Dhawan who got out after playing a blistering inning of 60 off just 57 balls.
Even Virat Kohli could not do anything against the Aussie bowling attack and went back to the pavilion for a golden duck. Yuvraj and Raina also failed and Rohit felt that it was time to change his gear. After hitting a half-century in 70 balls, Sharma got into beast mode and hit back-to-back sixes tossing one straight out of the park while the other towards long-on.
Slowly and steadily Rohit reached his century. When everyone thought that the boy from Mumbai will now play a rather slow game and built his innings for Team India, he went on to do exactly the opposite.
No one in their wildest dreams would have thought that Rohit would change his gear so fast. He completely annihilated the Australian bowling attack and hit everyone for the maximum. He took a particular liking for Clint McKay as he kept on hitting him all over the park.
And then that moment of history happened as Rohit Sharma became the third Indian batsman and third batsman overall to hit a massive double-hundred in a One-Day International game. The whole erupted after the magical inning and everyone kept on saying that this inning is a gift for Indian spectators on the auspicious day of Diwali.
If you want to know how dominant Rohit was during his inning, then you need to realize that he completed his century in 114 balls and reached the historic figure of 200 in just 156 balls. After playing such a dominant inning, Rohit said that he was not thinking of reaching the 200-run mark.
He added, “I just wanted to be there. It was a small ground with a fast outfield, we knew it was going to be a big-scoring game keeping the wickets in hand. We always spoke about building small partnerships and we had two big ones today.”
He struck 16 sixes in that match, which became a new world record in ODI cricket, eclipsing Shane Watson’s 15 sixes against Bangladesh where he scored 175.
This inning of 209 off just 158 balls put Rohit above legendary Sachin Tendulkar in the highest individual scores in One-Day International cricket. He also became the third batsman to hit a double-century in ODIs, followed by Sachin Tendulkar (200) and Virender Sehwag (219).
This inning would set a benchmark for others to follow. It was a moment when Rohit proved why he should always be a part of the Indian team. And now, we are seeing how lethal can Rohit be for bowlers around the world.
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar