It was the 2007 inaugural T20 World Cup. India had just reached the knockout stage against South Africa, but were left badly struggling at 33/3. At this critical juncture, in came a young lad whose Ranji heroics had already made headlines before the tournament. No one was sure what he would be able to do, but his unbeaten half century eventually changed the course of the game, and maybe even India’s cricketing future.
Yes, we are talking about Rohit Sharma: the current vice-captain of the India team and a batting maestro of the modern era.
While Rohit’s T20 record may not look as good as his superlative Test and ODI numbers, he is now the only batsman in world cricket to have played 100 T20 international matches, a milestone he achieved in the 2nd India vs. Bangladesh T20 on 7th November.
His achievements in the longer formats may be the talk of the town, but ‘Sharma Ji Ka Ladka’ has made some T20 records that not only his dad, but the whole country has taken immense pride in. Be it hitting the maximum number of runs in T20, or scoring the fastest century in the history of the shortest format of the game. The 3 times 200+ run-scorer in ODI has made 4 centuries in T20 which stands to be the highest in T20 cricket.
As Rohit Sharma creates history by playing his 101th T20 match v/s Bangladesh we take a trip down memory lane to rediscover the Hitman’s greatest T20 knocks.
Top 5 Hitman Knocks in T20 Internationals
1. 50* from 40 in T20 World Cup 2007
It was inconceivable to think that this young, slightly chubby newbie would go on to make such a mark on the international stage, and this is the game in which that journey began. He put on a partnership of 85 runs alongside Captain MS Dhoni and helped India reach a respectable total of 153. Playing his 1st T20 innings, Sharma made 50 not out in just 40 balls that enthralled cricket lovers. We were going crazy over the flamboyant drives and cuts this young lad from Mumbai had to offer. India ended up winning the match and kicked the Proteas out of the competition. Also, Rohit effected a dream run-out of Justin Kemp that completely took the game away from the South Africans.
2.106 off 66 balls against South Africa 2015
Rohit Sharma hit his first T20 century against South Africa in a losing cause in the year 2015. Even though India lost the match to the heroics of JP Duminy & AB de Villiers, ESPNCricinfo recognized this inning as the ‘Innings of the year’ at the Maruti Suzuki ESPNCricinfo awards in 2016. This was another flamboyant performance by the Indian batsman as he was making his name as the opener India needed.
3. 118 from 43- Fastest 100 in balls faced (vs Sri Lanka 2017)
The Holkar Stadium saw some breathtaking stroke play when Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul went on to make one of the highest opening stands of 165 as the Sri Lankans were left clueless. Sharma broke a number of records while playing this knock including the most sixes(10) hit by a batsman in a T20I at the time, the most fours(12) hit by a batsman in a T20I and the quickest century in T20 internationals(118 off 43). Riding on this iconic inning, India went on to win the match by 88 runs after amassing a total of 260/5 which by far is India’s highest in T20Is.
4. 100* off 56 against England 2018
England were sitting pretty at a score of 199 when Rohit Sharma decided to take the game away from them, sealing the series 2-1 in favor of India. Elegant as ever, Rohit looked positive from the outset and with five huge sixes, he made this chase look like a cakewalk. The other centurion from the same match was England’s Colin Munro who also made his 3rd T20 international century.
5.The Forgotten 30* against Pak in 2007 T20 final
This one surely deserves a special mention because Gautam Gambhir was not the only hero in the memorable India v/s Pakistan finale. India were struggling at a score 111/5 in 16 overs when they lost MS Dhoni. Rohit came in and made a score of 30* that put India to a respectable total of 157/5. He scored the last 24 runs off just 9 balls and while the margin of this victory was only 5 runs, his knock was vital to make that difference.
India will be playing the T20 World Cup next year and our very own Hitman will be a vital part of the side. The current series is now level after India clawed their way back from their surprise defeat in the first T20.
How will Rohit perform in the last T20 match of the series? If you think you have the answers, then add him to your team now on BalleBaazi and join our fantasy cricket leagues to win exciting gadgets and prizes this season.
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