Rohit Sharma kicks off with 171 India to 309
|Rohit Sharma kicks off with 171 India to 309|
Rohit Sharma penchant for massive ODI hundreds is not lost on anybody. Only five players have notched up ODI double hundreds, but Rohit has done that twice already. He’s used to scoring against the Australians, too, having scored three hundreds with a top score of 209.The right-hander added to that tally today with a sublime hundred on a bouncy WACA pitch. His innings was studded with 13 fours and 7 sixes, but it is his timing, patience and strike-rotation that stood out. He constantly pegged the third man and the square-leg areas to ensure boundaries weren’t always needed.His partner at the other end for more than 37 overs, Virat Kohli, too, provided a master-class in batting as he played second fiddle to Rohit before falling for 91 at the back-end of the Indian innings. The highlight of his knock were the three boundaries he hit in quick succession – clip off the legs, drive threading the tiniest of gaps between mid-off and short cover and a crushing cover drive.
The duo added a record 207-run stand to help India end with 309/3 from their quota of fifty overs after they won the toss and elected to bat at the WACA.While Rohit hit his straps early in the innings thanks to some wayward bowling by the hosts, Kohli, who came in at the fall of Shikhar Dhawan’s wicket early in the innings, employed a more sedate approach. Like Rohit, he too used the pace of the ball to take easy singles on either sides of the wicket.The duo brought up its 100-run stand in the 22nd over and set their side the perfect platform. Australia, however, clawed their way back into the game with some tight bowling. India were finally able to cut loose close to the 40-over mark. Debutant Scott Boland went for three boundaries in one over, while Mitchell Marsh gave away 11 soon after.MS Dhoni walked in at the fall of Kohli’s wicket in the 45th over and immediately smashed a boundary past fine-leg. He walked down the pitch to James Faulkner and slammed him over long-off as India set sights on 300.Rohit pulled off a cheeky lap shot and sandwiched celebrating his 150 between two big blows over long-on. India walloped 55 off the last four overs to give them the necessary impetus going into the 2nd innings.Brief scores: India 309 for 3 from 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 171*, Virat Kohli 91;