Rohit Sharma blasted his way into the record books with a breathtaking 209 that included a record 16 sixes which propelled India to a mammoth 383 for six against Australia in the series-decising seventh and final ODI here on Saturday.
The immensely talented Sharma thus became only third batsman in the history of ODI cricket after Virender Sehwag (219) and Sachin Tendulkar (200 no) to reach the coveted double ton.
Enroute his 158-ball-209, Rohit created a world record by hitting as many as 16 sixes along with 12 fours. His 16 sixes bettered Shane Watson’s effort of 15 sixes against Bangladesh in an ODI match.
This was also the highest individual ODI score by any batsman against Australia in ODIs as well as being India’s highest team total against the visitors. The last five overs produced an unbelievable 101 runs.
While Rohit scored his first 100 off 114 balls, the next hundred came off only 42 deliveries. All the sixes were clean straight hits in the arc between deep extra-cover and deep mid-wicket. There was minimum muscle and maximum timing in each and every six that he hit.
Put into bat by the Australian skipper George Bailey, the home team rode on Rohit’s brilliant batting display which was complemented by his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan (60) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who batted in his customary style smacking a 38-ball-62 with seven fours and two sixes.
Rohit and Dhoni added a staggering 167 runs for the fifth wicket in only 15.4 overs at an average of 10.65 while the opening partnership again proved to be productive yielding 112 runs.
The men who missed out included Virat Kohli (0)and the two horribly out-of-form players Yuvraj Singh (12) and Suresh Raina (28).
While another in-form batsman Kohli was run-out for duck without scoring and looked angry, the Delhi star was the most vocal in his applause when Rohit reached his individual milestones.
Having got a second wind after being promoted as an opener, Rohit also completed 1000 runs in ODIs this year at a very impressive average of 50 plus.
This is Rohit’s third big score in the current apart from his match-winning 141 at Jaipur and 79 in the last game at Nagpur