Rohit Sharma scores 7th 150-plus in ODIs; India beat Windies by huge margin
Opener Rohit Sharma says scoring fourth double ton never crossed his mind en route his seventh 150-plus score in ODIs as India beat WI by 224 runs
For someone who has a penchant for scoring double hundreds (he has done so thrice already in his ODI career), Rohit Sharma would have considered it as a missed opportunity yesterday. However, the thought of a fourth double ton "never crossed" the Indian vice-captain's mind. Playing at his elegant best, the Mumbai batsman blasted his way to a 137-ball 162 — his seventh 150-plus score in the 50-over format. The 211-run third-wicket partnership between Rohit and Ambati Rayudu (100) helped the hosts post 377-5 in perfect batting conditions at the Brabourne Stadium after electing to bat.
West Indies never really showed any intention of chasing the mammoth total after their top three batsmen were back in the pavilion inside six overs. A fiery spell from young left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed, in which he sent back Shimron Hetmyer, Rovman Powell and Marlon Samuels in his three consecutive overs, was enough to dismantle the visitors. Skipper Jason Holder's unbeaten half century was the only bright spot in the West Indies' batting that managed just 153 in 36.2 overs. India won by 224 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the series and will aim to seal the series in Trivandrum on Thursday.
"I wasn't thinking about a double hundred. I was only looking to score as many runs as possible. I don't think about getting hundreds or two hundreds. The three double hundreds that I have got, I had never really thought of getting them. In fact, Rayudu told me that I can score a double hundred, but I was only trying to focus on my batting and not about how I can get it [double hundred]. It never crossed my mind," Rohit said after his man of the match-winning knock.
Meanwhile, the West Indies managed to deny skipper Virat Kohli a chance to notch up a record-equalling fourth consecutive ton of the tournament when he was caught behind for 16 in the 17th over. The visitors, however, found it extremely difficult to contain Rohit and Rayudu. More so, it would have pleased the Indian team management to see Rayudu steadily consolidating the crucial No. 4 spot.
In order to prevent Rohit from playing in the 'V' (region between mid-on and mid-off), the Windies bowlers bowled short and a bit wide, but Rohit effortlessly dispatched everything. "I have always enjoyed playing here. You get good value for your shots with a fast outfield. You don't need to hit too hard, just find gaps. I know this pitch well after playing for so many years here," said Rohit about batting at the Brabourne Stadium.
Rohit built his innings in typical fashion — cautious at the start and explosive towards the end. He took 60 balls for his half century and later accelerated to complete his second 50 in 38 balls. He raced from 100 to 150 in just 33 balls (19x4s, 3x6s). He added one boundary and one six. Hopes of a fourth double ton were alive considering seven overs were still to be bowled and he had already crossed the 150-mark, but a top edge against offie Ashley Nurse was pouched by Hemraj Chandrapaul at short third man to bring an end to a sterling show.
MS Dhoni's aggregate in ODIs for India. The 'keeper-batsman has a total of 10,173 runs in the 50-over format if his 174-run knock while representing Asia XI in 2007 is considered
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