Team India captain Rohit Sharma achieved a massive feat during the first ODI against England as the swashbuckling opener scored an unbeaten 76-run knock. India registered a clinical 10-wicket win over England to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Rohit, who was going through a lean patch with the bat, returned to form at Kennington Oval on Tuesday. The 34-year-old stamped his authority over the English pacers who tried to target him with short balls. However, Rohit nullified their attack with his batting prowess, playing some elusive hook and pull shots.
He slammed 6 fours and 5 sixes during his 58-ball stay in the middle. He shared an unbeaten 114-run stand with Shikhar Dhawan to help register a dominant win.
With his five magnificent sixes, Rohit became the first Indian batter to reach the 250 sixes milestone in ODIs. While he is only the fourth batter to achieve the feat. Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is at the top of the tally with 351 sixes. Destructive West Indies opener Chris Gayle is at the second spot with 331 sixes, while legendary Sri Lanka batter Sanath Jayasuriya is at third with 270 maximums.
Rohit and his opening partner Dhawan went on to join one of the most iconic opening pair in world cricket as they crossed the 5,000-run mark in partnership in ODI cricket. They are now very close to the Indian opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly who top the list of most number of runs scored by any opening pair in world cricket.
They have now moved to the second position with only Tendulkar and Ganguly at the top with 6609 runs. They are followed by the Aussie pair of Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden, who scored 5372 runs, and the pair of D Haynes and G Greenridge (5150).
After stitching a match-winning opening stand in the first ODI, captain Rohit said he and Dhawan have played a lot of cricket together and understand each other very well.
“Dhawan and I have played a lot of cricket together. We understand each other well, except for the first ball where there was that misjudgment (run-out chance),” said Sharma at the post-match presentation.
“He (Dhawan) is playing ODIs after a long time. We know what he brings to the table for us. Experienced player and he has done well for us in the past in these conditions,” he added.