Manchester, June 16: Rohit Sharma made his 24th ODI hundred and also became the second Indian batsmen to score a World Cup century against Pakistan after Virat Kohli, who had made 107 in 2015 in Australia. That was a quick doing away with statistics to look more into Rohit's 140 against Pakistan at Old Trafford here on Sunday (June 16).
Here was a batsman at the top of his game, determined not to give away his wicket. There was a moment of fortune when he escaped a run out solely because Fakhar Zaman threw the ball at the wrong end. He never let such moments affect his concentration. The focus has been the biggest feature of Rohit's batting from the first game against South Africa when he made a restrained hundred.
But this hundred was totally different from the one at Southampton. Rohit's elegance and that extra second he has to play shots, all were on view here. The six he hammered off Hasan Ali underlined all that Rohit Sharma is. It was short and wide ball on the off-stump at nearly 140 clicks but Rohit just used the pace to deposit over the third man fence for a six. You will never see a more effortless six!
And Pakistan bowlers often fed to his strength, bowling short and allowing him to play those pulls and squirts off the hips and he scored more than half of the runs through the on-side. More importantly, Rohit did what he does best, converted the start into a big hundred.
There was a bit of change in his approach today as Rohit looked to force the pace because Shikhar Dhawan, who normally does the early running, was absent because of an injury and his new partner KL Rahul has not opened the innings for a while in ODIs.
Rohit was a success in his new venture and that put Paksitan bowlers under pressure straightaway and he seldom relented the grip too. Two hundreds and a fifty in three matches and Rohit has already stamped his mark on the ICC World Cup 2019 and it is already a large footprint.