Rohit Sharma continues to go where no ODI batsman has gone before. On Wednesday at the PCA Stadium in Mohali, India's stand-in captain hit his third double-century to further enhance his reputation as an ODI opener par excellence.
In November 2013, Rohit had become the second male batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to score an ODI double-century, stunning Australia with 209 off 158 balls with 12 fours and 16 sixes. A year later, against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens, he pummelled the highest score in ODIs - 264 off 173 balls, with 33 fours and nine sixes.
Martin Guptill (237), Virender Sehwag (219), Chris Gayle (215) and Tendulkar (200) are the other batsmen to hit ODI double-centuries; it is no coincidence that each was an opener. This was Rohit's 16th ODI century, taking him past Sehwag to fourth place in India's all-time centurion list. Tendulkar (49), Virat Kohli (32) and Sourav Ganguly (22) make up the top three.
In the second ODI on Wednesday, which India need to win to keep the three-game series alive, Rohit reached his century off 115 deliveries, and then proceeded to hit six sixes and a four as he scored his next 50 in just 18 deliveries. Four of those sixes came in four consecutive legal deliveries bowled by pace bowler Suranga Lakmal in the 44th over.
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