Kolkata, June 6: Rohit Sharma reached third in the list of century makers for India when he made his 23rd ODI hundred against South Africa in the ICC World Cup 2019 at Southampton on Wednesday (June 5).
Even though the opener had some nervous moments in the beginning, Rohit eventually succeeded in overcoming the threat posed by the Proteas bowlers and remained unbeaten till the end to take his side home. It was a good comeback by the Mumbai batsman who did not produce anything special in the warm-up matches or in the Indian Premier League this year.
Even in the ICC World Cup 2015, Rohit, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli had taken turns to score big for India to boost the team totals. While Kohli hit 107 in the opening game against Pakistan, Dhawan scored 126 in the next match against South Africa. Rohit joined the party a bit late when he scored 137 against Bangladesh in the quarterfinals.
In this World Cup, too, India will be banking heavily on these three top batsmen to chip in consistently. Rohit and Dhawan have the fourth highest opening partnership in the history of ODIs with 4,554 runs in 102 matches at an average of 45.08.
They have scored 15 hundreds and 13 half-centuries together. Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar hold the record with 6,609 runs in 136 matches at an average of 49-plus. Australia's Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden and West Indies' Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes come in second and third places.
India will be benefited immensely if both their openers fire together in ICC World Cup 2019. The last time they delivered together was against Australia in a bilateral series in March. While Dhawan scored 143 on that occasion, Rohit hit 95 and the opening duo put up 193 even though India lost the match. Ganguly and Tendulkar had more instances of firing together with 21 hundred-run partnerships. Can Rohit and Dhawan match their predecessors in this World Cup?