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India vs New Zealand 2nd ODI will be Rohit Sharma’s 150th ODI

Rohit Sharma is an enigma. He personifies the word ‘talent’. He debuted for the Indian ODI team way back in the year 2007 as a middle-order batsman only to find his feet as an opener after toiling as long as almost 6 years (in 2013, he was sent to open for the first time in an ODI) with inconsistency and wavering fortunes. But today, he is a completely different batsman who can send shivers down the spine of even the best bowlers (at least, in ODIs).
Rohit Sharma will become just the 18th player to represent the nation in 150 ODIs. In the 149 ODIs that he has played, he has scored 5022 runs at an average of 41.85 with 10 centuries and 28 half-centuries to his name. So, let us take a look at some of the finest innings played by ‘Hit-Man’.
141* off 123 balls v Australia, Jaipur, 2013
Australia was touring India for a 7-match ODI series. The first ODI was won by the Aussies. To make things worse, they posted a mammoth score of 359-5 in the designated 50 overs. What transpired in the second innings was something for the folklores. India easily overhauled the target in the 44th over itself and that too at the loss of one single wicket. While Dhawan (95 runs off 86 balls) missed out on a well-deserved century and Virat Kohli (100* runs off 52 balls) smashed his way to the fastest century by an Indian, the limelight was hogged by Rohit Sharma who anchored India’s highest successful run chase with a brilliant innings of 141 runs off 123 balls. Expectedly, he was awarded the MoM award for his century which was his first in the last three and a half years.
209 off 158 balls v Australia, Bangalore, 2013
It was in the same 7-match series where Rohit Sharma announced himself as one of the world’s best as he hammered the Aussies to become the third double centurion in the history of ODIs. His unbelievable innings of 209 runs off 158 runs adorned with a record number of 16 sixes and 12 fours helped India post a target of 384 runs for the Aussies in the series decider. The Aussies tried hard, very hard but the target seemed out of their reach despite a brilliant century from James Faulkner as India clinched the series 3-2.
264 off 173 balls v Sri Lanka, Kolkata, 2014
Rohit Sharma was coming into the team after an injury which deprived him of any international cricket for almost two and a half months. The Islanders had already lost the 5-match ODI series and were playing to salvage some pride. But, Rohit Sharma had some other plans that day. He started sedately reaching his half-century off 72 balls. But after then, he switched to the top gear and plundered runs all over the park en route to his unimaginable innings of 264 runs off 173 balls. The Lankans were hapless after being set a target of 404 runs and could only muster 251 runs in their completed innings, 13 runs less than that of Rohit’s. A plethora of records was made that day as Rohit Sharma notched the highest-ever score made in ODIs. He became the first-and-only man to break the 200-run barrier twice in ODIs. He hit the most number of boundaries in ODIs. And, not to forget, he single-handedly defeated a whole team of eleven people by quite a margin (13 runs to be precise).
137 off 126 balls v Bangladesh, Melbourne, 2015
The stage was grand. It was well-set. India was playing neighbor Bangladesh in the quarter-finals of the ICC World Cup. Everyone expected India to steamroll their opponents but to everyone’s shock, the Tigers were able to reduce them to 115-3. The runs seemed to dry up and the run-rate was excruciatingly slow. And that is when Rohit Sharma played one of the best innings of his life. A match-winning innings of 137 runs off 126 balls as he provided the impetus to set the Tigers a daunting target of 303 runs. And thus, he propelled the Men in Blue into the semi-finals as the Bangladeshis were bundled out for a mere 193 runs.

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