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15 December 2017, 07:50 | Percy Christensen
India's stand-in captain Rohit Sharma
Time was when a double century would be the talk of town. What has happened in the past, I have no regrets.
India skipper Rohit Sharma says he was determined not to throw his wicket away, a day after an end-stage manic acceleration saw him smash a record third double ton in One-day Internationals. Also, it was my first stint as captain.
The buzz surrounding this achievement, however, falls well short of that Tendulkar moment.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan wove another 100 run partnership. Unfortunately or fortunately, Rohit is at the heart of this change in perception.
Dhoni scored only 7 in the 2nd ODI, including a six.
But it is Rohit who has made an art of it.
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His first double tom came against Australia in 2013. His first hundred came off 115 balls, and his second off just 38 balls. Sharma reached his half-century off 65 balls. In his breathtaking knock, he hit 13 fours and 11 sixes.
After India bounced back to thrash Sri Lanka by 141 runs in the second ODI at Mohali, the series is beautifully poised for a thrilling finale in Vizag on Sunday, December 17. You understood what the bowlers were trying to do by then. But, as Rohit explained in his post-match press conference, it isn't as easy as just upping the ante and hitting sixes. "I started off pretty slow then too".
"Shikhar gave us a flawless start and Shreyas Iyer, playing his second match, just didn't look like he was playing only his second match".
"I kept telling myself unless I make a mistake I am not going to get out". A combination of deft touches, free flowing strokes and picking gaps with precision makes him a viable option going forward. You have been there, took out the toughest part of the game which is the initial phase with the two new balls. "This year has been the best for me as a cricketer. I've said it many times, but I honestly can not pick one", Sharma said of his three double tons. "I don't have so much power, but I rely a lot on timing and that's exactly what I did", he said.
Rohit credited the Indian team's strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu's role. "My strength is timing the ball". It was all about playing according to the field. You can't clear the rope always that easily. That is the advantage of having five players inside. "All three we were very important from the team's perspective". Perhaps when he breaches the 300 - something that no longer seems outlandish - the buzz will return.
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