Rohit Sharma smashed through two incredible records yesterday. He scored a record-breaking 264 runs in the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka (45 more than the previous record holder Virender Sehwag) and became the first cricketer to score two double centuries in ODIs.
It was an incredible day for India but more specifically, for Rohit Sharma. India had already won the series against Sri Lanka with two games to play and so decided to give all their players a chance. Sharma who was coming back from Injury had only played in the warm-up game but had scored 142 and was looking as great as ever. Sharma along with Robin Uthappa, Stuart Binny and Karn Sharma all played to allow some of the other players to rest and recover, including the in form Shikhar Dhawan who had scored a fantastic 283 runs in his three innings.
India won the toss and elected to bat first, Sharma looked uncomfortable to begin with, he only scored 11 runs of the first 40 with Ajinkya Rahane in full flow hitting boundaries every over. Sharma faced a maiden over from Angelo Matthews, was dropped by Thisara Perera (the most costly drop in ODI cricket) on four runs, and scored his 50 at less than a run a ball.
However from then on, it was as though he was a new man, there was no stopping him. He didn’t give the Sri Lankans another chance until he went past 200, his second, third and fourth 50 came from 28, 25 and 26 balls respectively and his final 50 came off just a mere 15. Sharma hit 33 fours (another record) in his innings, he placed the ball so beautifully that the Sri Lankan fielders didn’t have a chance. Sharma played 39 dot balls to reach his first 50 but only 19 in the rest of his entire innings. There was little to say about the other batsmen when one man amasses a score that is higher than the average ODI innings these past 10 years. However, Virat Kohli was run out again just as he was when Sharma scored his first double century against Australia. (Are we going to start hoping Kohli gets run out more often when he’s batting with Sharma?)
Sri Lanka’s batsmen faced an incredible total of 404. Their bowlers had given them very little chance of winning the game and bar the wonderful efforts of Mahela Jayawardena and the admirable grit of Angelo Matthews, their batting was in no shape to be chasing such a total. Sri Lanka fell 153 runs short of India’s total, 13 runs short of Rohit Sharma’s total.