The India captain hit an unbeaten 46 off just 20 balls, driving his team past the finish line while chasing 91 in eight overs on Friday.
Rohit Sharma’s blazing knock lifted India to a six-wicket victory over Australia in shortened second T20I in Nagpur on Friday. The India captain hit an unbeaten 46 off just 20 balls, driving his team past the finish line while chasing 91 in eight overs, as the game was reduced to eight overs a side due to a wet outfield. India stuttered at the start with Adam Zampa removing KL Rahul (10) and then nabbing Virat Kohli (11) and Suryakumar Yadav (0) off successive balls. Rohit, however, hit runs at a brisk pace and smashed four sixes and as many fours to single-handedly help India notch up a series-levelling win.
Rohit was aggressive from the word go as he hit three monstrous hits off Josh Hazlewood in the opening over. He then deposited a Pat Cummins slower ball into the stands and hit Zampa over long-off to add another six under his belt. While India lost Rahul, Kohli and Yadav, Rohit continued to go strong before designated finisher Dinesh Karthik chipped in with 10 not out in two balls.
Rohit, who was in ominous touch, hit four fours and as many sixes to surpass Martin Guptill with the record of most sixes in the history of T20I cricket. Guptill has got 172 sixes in the shortest format, while Rohit now has 176 to his name. They are followed by West Indies great Chris Gayle (124), former England skipper Eoin Morgan (120) and Australian captain Aaron Finch (119).
Most sixes in T20 Internationals
176 – Rohit Sharma*
172 – Martin Guptill
124 – Chris Gayle
120 – Eoin Morgan
119 – Aaron Finch
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Rohit said that he was surprised by his own batting. “I didn’t expect it to go quite as well as that,” Rohit said after collecting the Player of the Match award.
Rohit also equalled former captain Sourav Ganguly in the elite list of most Man of the Match awards for India. Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli occupy the first and second spots, respectively.
Most M.O.M Awards for India
76 – Sachin Tendulkar
58 – Virat Kohli
37 – Rohit Sharma*
37 – Sourav Ganguly
“Glad (Karthik) could finish well. It’s been a while since he had some time in the middle,” he added of the veteran middle-order batsman,” Rohit added.
The game was affected by overnight rain, which rendered the outfield waterlogged. The start of play was postponed by over two hours after several pitch inspections.
India elected to bowl first and reduced Australia to 31-3 in 3.1 overs after Cameron Green was run out and Glenn Maxwell for a golden duck. All-rounder Axar Patel then bowled Tim David in his next over to return 2/13 in his two overs, while fit-again Jasprit Bumrah clean bowled Aaron Finch with a searing yorker.
Australia earlier claimed a four-wicket win in the T20I series opener in Mohali on Tuesday. The visiting side rode on Green’s 61 and Matthew Wade’s 45 not out to chase down 208 runs with four balls to spare. The world champions will now face India in Hyderabad on Sunday for the series decider.
CREDIT: Hindustan Times