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Rohit Sharma 264 , Sri Lanka 251 : Rohit Sharma Wins by 13 Runs

November 13, 2014

Rohit Sharma after completing hundredMany people will say it was a flat pitch. Many will say the opponents did not have the full bowling strength. And many more will say that the tourists did not play as harder as much they were expected to play. Even this is not the end. People will keep talking about the drop catch from Thisara Parera that cost Sri Lanka team 260 runs and eventually the match, only helping the threats of getting whitewashed grow bigger on them. But it doesn’t matter how much you magnify these things, you simply can’t take anything away from the man who has just become the first man in the history of ODIs to clinch the double ton mark twice. He did the same last year, but this time he does it once again in an even more emphatic fashion to accomplish the incomplete mission what he left one year ago. Rohit Sharma, the man of the moment, may have failed to go pass his former teammate’s 219 at Bangalore; but as the City of Joy greets him again he does not make any mistake to grab the opportunity with both hands, much to the joy of himself and his fans.

It is never easy to make an immediate impact while you are making a comeback from an injury, especially when the player who has taken your place also plays well. There have been a lot of discussions over the past few weeks regarding the opening spot for team India for the upcoming ICC World Cup. But Sharma above all has announced his arrival making a very strong statement to reclaim his spot. All on a sudden the selectors have a tough job in their hands in order to choose the right combination. The more this healthy competition goes on, the better it will be for the defending champions.

It might still be very interesting the number Rohit Sharma bats at. In fact his ability provides the team the flexibility that very few teams will be having. His calm presence in the middle order will help when it comes to the consolidation of an innings. If he is placed further down the order his rampant hitting can be nightmare for any opposition. But the way he has batted today, one has to be the harshest person in the world to take away the opening position from him. He was not originally an opener, he was given the responsibility to open the batting at the time when his team was lacking a genuine opener. He was up to the task, adopted to the unusual position and then put up some extraordinary performances over there. Now he is enjoying the opening slot and I am very sure that he will be more than happy to retain his spot.

If I have to talk about the innings that he has played today, I shall be attributing this knock to his temperament than anything else. His class, elegance and talent have always been much talked about, but he has emerged as a much more developed, compact and composed cricketer only after working over his temperament. His potential has been beyond question ever since he made his debut seven winters ago. But the old story had been that he did not use to value his wicket. Bowlers used to dismiss him lesser than he used to get out all by himself. This is the area where he has made an immense improvement to become a standby player from being an in-out player of team what he was 3-4 years ago. Injuries have let him down quite a few times in the past, but the way this time he makes a comeback from injury shows how focused he has been at his game. Once again, the way he paced his innings is definitely a thing that to be learnt. For the first 20 balls he stays as silent as ever that anybody can hardly realize that he is in the crease. But as he gets set he has got all the qualities in the world to make up for his slow start and once he gets going nobody knows how to stop him or where he is going to stop. Even today he made his first 100 runs in 100 balls and the rest his history. If we compare this knock with the one played against the Aussies, here he has relied a lot more on boundaries than sixes. There he made a world record of hitting highest number of sixes in an innings, here he makes the same for the boundaries. He was making batting look very easy as he was finding the gaps with ease. At times playing the ground shots he gave us a feeling as if there were no fielder in the field at all, while the balls he gave elevation to, landed in the stands. He has played shots to every corner of the ground with timing, placement and sometimes fearsome power having said that the one he played to get on 246 is the pick of the bunch to me.

On the ending note I would like to add that Eden Gardens have always been a happy hunting ground for the batsmen having delicacy. Sharma followed by the likes of Azharuddin and VVS Laxman has now made this ground his own. He made his Ranji Trophy debut here, got a hundred in his test debut at the same. He also has an IPL ton at the Eden Gardens. But what more the spectators could have asked from him on the 150th Anniversary of the ground! And what more Rohit himself could have asked from his favorite ground on this occasion! He has shown early promises to be the King of the Palaces of the City of Palace. And as he signs off this time he sees himself to be crowned as the King of double centuries. Within a year of scoring a double hundred scores another. Now one may have to wonder if he will break his own record once again to set another. Well, after watching today’s innings all I can say is that impossible is just another word.

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