India’s ODI vice-captain Rohit Sharma slammed his 17th ODI ton (115 off 126 balls) during the fourth match of the ongoing six-match ODI series against South Africa at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth on Tuesday (February 13).
It’s been more than a month since Team India have landed in the rainbow nation, but Rohit was yet to make an impression on the tour. During the Test series, the elegant Mumbai batsman had found it difficult to cope up against the lethal Proteas attack as he managed to aggregate only 78 runs in 4 innings at a miserable average of 19.50.
After failing in the first two Tests at Cape Town and Centurion, there were expectations from India’s ODI vice-captain to regain his form in the format wherein he boasts a world record 3 double tons. However, the story remained pretty much the same in the first four ODIs despite India’s unassailable 3-1 in the series.
While Rohit perished for 20 and 15 runs in the first two ODIs at Durban and Centurion, he didn’t manage to cross the double-digit mark in the next two encounters at Cape Town (0 off 6 balls) and Johannesburg (5 off 13 balls). Sharma though was determined to make it count in the fifth ODI at Port Elizabeth.
At first, the 30-year-old forged a 48-run opening stand with Shikhar Dhawan (34 off 23 balls) before sharing 105-run partnership for the second wicket with skipper Virat Kohli (36 off 54 balls). Just like the last two ODIs, India experienced yet another collapse in the middle order with Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya falling in quick succession.
Rohit was dismissed by Lungi Ngidi in 43rd over on 115 – an innings laced with 11 boundaries and 4 sixes. MS Dhoni’s 17-ball 42 and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 20-ball 19 at the last stage propelled the visitors to a decent total of 274/7 in their 50 overs.
Seeing Rohit Sharma in full flow for the first time on South African soil, Twitteratis were in full of praise for the elegant right-hander.
Here are some of the tweets:
You can't but be happy to see @ImRo45 get a century, he's such a class act. You also can't but be mad at his clumsy running between wickets!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) February 13, 2018
Like Virat, Rohit also can play an anchor innings at a strike rate of over 90. #Rohit100— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) February 13, 2018
Well played, Rohit Sharma. Few players attract the same scrutiny or disdain that he does. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. Could be a series-clinching knock. #SAvIND— Dileep Premachandran (@SpiceBoxofEarth) February 13, 2018