Rohit Sharma went into the history books by becoming the third Indian to hit a double century in ODI cricket, emulating Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. In the series decider against Australia in Bangalore on Saturday, Rohit slammed his way to a sensational 158-ball 209 as India posted a mammoth 383/6 in their 50 overs. India would ultimately go on to claim a 57-run victory and the series title despite some heroics by James Faulkner.
Rohit also broke Shane Watson's record for the most sixes in the innings, hitting 16 in a knock that was as breathtaking as it was calculated. (Match highlights)
Fireworks already from Rohit... Have a cracker of a Diwali. Light up your lives with positivity!— Suresh Raina (@ImRaina) November 2, 2013
Opening the innings with Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit was content in playing second-fiddle to his left-handed partner initially. The pair put on their sixth 100-run opening stand in just 19 innings together. As Dhawan motored his way to his fifth ODI fifty, Rohit appeared content in keeping the other end steady. A brief rain interruption however hindered India's flow with Dhawan (60) and Kohli (0) walking back shortly after resumption. Rohit was partly responsible for Kohli's run-out but he made up for it in style! (I wanted to play big: Rohit Sharma)
Losing his two partners in a rush however made Rohit shift gears. The 26-year-old completed his half-century off 71 deliveries and from there on freed his arms to send the ball into cheering fans repeatedly. The 28th over from Xavier Doherty and the 29th from Glenn Maxwell were particularly targeted with the batsman hitting two massive sixes in each over, signalling a change in approach. (In Pics: Rohit's Diwali dhamaka)
Rohit reached his century in the 38th over, taking 114 deliveries to reach this landmark for the fourth time in ODI cricket. The 26-year-old received a lifeline in the 42nd over, when he was dropped by Moises Henriques at deep square-leg on 120. Rohit would go on to punish the visitors along with his skipper MS Dhoni as the duo put on 167 runs in just 94 deliveries for the 5th wicket. The six-hitting Rohit was finally dismissed in the last over of the innings, as he was caught by Henriques off a Clint McKay delivery. He sensationally took 71 balls to reach his first fifty, 43 balls for his next fifty runs and just 44 balls for his next 109 runs. (Records broken by Rohit Sharma)
In the course of his innings, Rohit hit 12 fours and 16 sixes. He completed 3000 runs in ODIs and also 1000 runs in 2013. He also became the second highest individual scorer in ODIs. Sehwag's 219 against South Africa in 2011 is the current world record.
This was Rohit's second hundred against Australia and with the series poised evenly at 2-2, it could not have come at a more crucial time for India.