India vs Sri Lanka 2017: I don't play for any personal milestone, asserts Rohit Sharma
What's the story?
During his record-breaking knock in the second T20I against Sri Lanka, it appeared as if Indian opener Rohit Sharma might just breach the 200-run barrier in the shortest format. Speaking to reporters after smashing a 43-ball 118 in Indore, the stand-in skipper played down the significance of personal milestones and instead insisted that he has always looked to place his team in strong positions.
When asked if he was thinking about getting a double century, Rohit responded, "Not really. I was thinking to score runs. I wasn't thinking of any particular target. In all the formats, I don't look to get to a particular milestone. My job is to go out there and score as many as possible."
"Not just 100s or 200s or 300s, I go out there to make sure I get my team into a good position. My job is to do that. There are times when you don't get runs. There are times when you get runs. This is all part and parcel of the game. Never do I ever walk out thinking that I want to score a century or a double century. I just want to give my best and get the team a victory."
Rohit treated the packed crowd at the Holkar Cricket Stadium to a masterclass in batting. Unleashing mayhem by sending the ball sailing into the stands on a repeated basis, he hammered the joint-fastest century in the short history of T20Is.
The heart of the matter
Opening the batting alongside KL Rahul, Rohit put the Sri Lankan bowlers to the sword by unfurling a wide range of shots. The duo tormented the visitors on a docile track. They added as many as 165 runs for the first wicket and set the foundation for India to register the joint-second highest total in T20 internationals.
Defending a mammoth total of 260, the hosts ran into some resistance in the form of a tenacious partnership between Upul Tharanga and Kusal Perera. However, the wrist-spin combination of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal ensured that India completed a comprehensive 88-run triumph.
Having already taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, India will look to remain guarded against complacency and aim for a clean-sweep when the final T20I takes place at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
It is heartening to hear Rohit's views on the conundrum surrounding personal milestones. While individual landmarks are mere numbers, taking the team to a winning position has to remain the foremost priority for any cricketer.