Rohit Sharma joined the immortals of limited-overs cricket with his sensational 3rd ODI double-century in the 2nd one-dayer against Sri Lanka at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Wednesday as India rustled up a match-winning 392/4, thanks to the stand-in skipper's showing. Rohit has made it a habit to score big centuries when it comes to setting up big totals for India in One-day Internationals. His power-hitting capabilities reached cricketing folklore levels when he hammered 208 not out in the 2nd ODI against Sri Lanka.
It was difficult to believe that someone completing his first hundred before the start of the back 10 would be able to reach his double hundred by the end and Rohit did just that .India beat Sri Lanka by 141 runs to level the three-match series 1-1.
"If I am not wrong, the first 100 I got was around the 38th or 39th over. So I was telling myself, if I have got this far, I am not going to get out. I was only looking to keep my shape and hit through the line. It was the same thing I did in my first two 200s. I started off pretty slow then too," Rohit said after his record third double hundred. Asked to rate his three double ODI centuries, Rohit refused to pick one.
"Very difficult to pick one. All three came at crucial times. 264 is obviously very close to me. I've said it many times, but I honestly cannot pick one.
"The Australia one was a decider, the Sri Lanka 264 - I came back after a three-month layoff after a big injury, and this one also - after a humiliating loss, we wanted to come back as a team, as a batting unit especially," he said. The stand-in skipper is happy because of the turnaround that happened.
"It was a great day. Winning the game was important for me and the team after that loss in Dharamsala. I can keep talking about the batting that we did today, right from the start, with Shikhar (Dhawan) giving us a brilliant start, and Shreyas Iyer - it didn't look like he was only playing his second ODI," Rohit said.
"There was dew later, so it was important to get that big total.
Sri Lanka captain Thisara Perera rued the below-par performance of his bowling unit and said no plans worked for them against Rohit.
"Unfortunately our bowling didn't click. Especially, Rohit batted really well. That is cricket. We will take positives from this match and flush out the negatives," he said.
"We had a Plan A and B and C as well - it didn't click. That is why I said Rohit batted really well. If we want to chase this kind of score, we need a good start, and middle order as well.
"Both parts didn't click, but Angelo (Mathews) did well in the batting part. We will come back well in the third ODI," Perera said.
(With PTI Inputs)