I will try to score 300 in ODIs, quips Rohit Sharma
Not many batsmen get the opportunity to score a 200 in Test cricket, leave out scoring a 200 in a limited-overs game. Only five batsmen have managed to reach the milestone in ODIs and out of the five, only Rohit Sharma managed to do it twice, 209 against Australia in Bengaluru and 264 against Sri Lanka in 2014, which is also the highest score by a batsman in ODIs.
In a bonus clip for his episode of Breakfast with Champions hosted by Gaurav Kapur, Rohit spoke on both his double hundreds when he was asked which one is a better one. Both the knocks were crucial, the first one for the team in a decider when the team had lost Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli and the second for him to seal his place in the team for the World Cup after coming back from a finger injury.
"I am very confused. It is a classy question but I have no answer to that question. 209 happened in a series decider when the team was in a bad situation. Shikhar Dhawan got out early and Virat Kohli was run out soon after. I was under a lot of pressure. The situation was like, 'if I don't score runs, the team will lose the series'. Scores in that tournament were 350-400. I had to score to get our team to a decent total which is 350-plus. I was batting in the middle and I know how the wicket is. I understood that if we don't score so many runs, it might be tricky for us. That innings had 16 sixes, which is a world record before our Mr. 360 (AB de Villiers) equalled it when he played against West Indies the next year," Rohit said.
While his 209 helped India the ODI series against Australia, his 264 came in a dead rubber but it was very crucial for him as it was his first match after returning from injury. He took his time at the start and then launched an assault on the Sri Lankan bowlers as batted throughout the innings before getting out off the final ball for a 173-ball 264 that included 33 fours and nine sixes.
"After that innings, I got to know that I scored 33 boundaries. There were instances when the entire team scored less than 33 boundaries and I alone managed to score that in that innings. I was so happy for that innings as I came back after three months from my finger injury. I was so nervous that I even told Ritika (his wife), 'I don't know how to approach the game'. Somehow, I managed to spend some time in the middle and got a lot of confidence. After the match, our coach Duncan Fletcher told me that I could have easily scored a 300 if not for the slow start I had. I asked him, 'Duncan bhai, Is 264 less for you?' (laughs)," he said.
He also admitted that the fans always want a 300 from him whenever he goes out to bat, fields in the deep and at airports and the right-hander cheekily responded that he will try to get to the mark in the future.
"Now, whenever I go out to bat, people want a 300 from me. Whenever I field in the deep, at the airport, people keep asking me 'when are you going to score 300?'. Is scoring 300 like just pick up something and eating it? In India, that is the expectation.That shows India as a country will never stop expecting more from you. It is completely acceptable because that's what you want and you try to live up to the expectation all the time. Having said that, I will try (scoring 300)," he concluded.