Rohit Sharma is striking the ball better than ever. He was a white ball legend for the Indian team but has not asserted his dominance in the longest format as well. His performance has reached newer heights with every subsequent inning. It began with his performances against West Indies when India toured them in 2019.
It became even bolder when he took South African bowlers to the cleaners in the home tour. Thereafter, his performances on the 2020-21 Australia tour and England home series have just been class. He has tempered his game to play the ball closer to his body and later than he was initially playing. It is clearly seen that he has trained hard on the art of leaving. All of these technical changes and his compact defense have made him look the most adept player on this ongoing England tour. He has looked at ease under overcast conditions and green pitches.
Since Sharma has now become a test mainstay and we hope this purple patch continues), we look at 5 defining performances of him in Indian whites.
1. Against Australia, Seventh ODI 2013
In the year 2013, Rohit Sharma became the third batsman to reach the 200-mark in ODIs. Rohit Sharma struck 16 sixes in an ODI inning to register his maiden double century when he scored 209 against Australia in Bangalore eight years ago, which held a record until June 18, 2019. India won the game by 57 runs and the seven-match series by 3-2 because of Rohit Sharma’s outstanding performance, which featured 12 boundaries. Despite a magnificent century from James Faulkner, India won the match and the series with a score of 6-383.
2. Against England, Second Test 2021
This was the home series earlier in the year. England had won the first test comfortably and India was under the pump in the second test. After an initial flurry of wickets. Sharma anchored the ship with Rahane on the first day. Both of them added 162 runs with Sharma scoring a daddy 161 runs. This innings had all class and full range. He displayed every shot in the book and took India out of the precarious situation. By the end of the day, India was 300-6.
3. Against South Africa, First Test 2019
South Africa was touring India were after a long time. Though the team did not possess the firepower of the earlier South African teams, Sharma needed to perform since his place in the team was tentative. Sharma was clinical in his performance. He scored a fantastic 176 runs in the first innings and then went onto score 127 in the second. India comfortably beat South Africa by more than 200 runs and Sharma was the match of the match.
4. Against Australia, Third Test 2021
India were without their senior players and far too many bowlers were injured. Sharma being the senior player had to set the tone for the fourth innings chase. India was given a target of 407 to win. There was more than one entire day for Australian bowlers to get India out and just blocking the ball was not feasible. It was here that Sharma scored a brilliant half-century at a very brisk pace. Post his innings, Pant and Gill both attempted to enforce a win by playing fast cricket. It was this approach that helped India to achieve a well-fought draw. Sharma’s innings were not a hundred but it was on an equal footing considering the match situation.
5. Against Sri Lanka, Fourth ODI 2014
An innings that will go down in history books as one of the best ever. Rohit Sharma achieved the unimaginable in 2014, becoming the first batsman in the history of the game to score 250 or more runs in an ODI match. Sri Lanka was the side that was on the receiving end. Sharma used the same blueprint as when he scored 209 against Australia in 2013. Before releasing the ‘HITMAN’ nickname in full force, he exercised care. Sharma blasted the Lankan bowling attack for 264 runs, and one must also remember Robin Uthappa’s selflessness in giving Rohit the maximum strike (16 off 16 balls).