Ending a three-year wait for his first triple-digit score in One Day Internationals (ODIs) on Tuesday, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma slammed a sizzling century in India’s comfortable win over New Zealand at Indore. Veteran Indian opener Rohit notched up his 30th ODI ton to equal Ricky Ponting’s century record. When he reached his century in the third ODI against New Zealand on Tuesday, the broadcaster flashed the statistic that it was the Indian skipper’s first ton since January 2020.
While the statistic is true, Rohit felt it did not convey the correct picture.
“Regarding the first hundred in three years, I’ve played only 12 (17) ODIs in three years. Three years sounds a lot,” Rohit told reporters after India whitewashed New Zealand 3-0 in the series following team’s 90-run win in the final ODI.
“You guys should know what’s happening. I know that it was shown on broadcast but kabhi kabhi woh cheez bhi dhyan dena chahiye, broadcaster ko bhi sahi cheez dikhana chahiye (the broadcasters should give the correct picture),” he added.
When a journalist further asked if it was the return of the ‘Hitman’, a moniker used for him, Rohit, who slammed nine fours and six sixes in India’s 90-run win, said, “What sort of a comeback? I didn’ t get it. Oh, someone must’ve told you! See, of those last three years, for eight months (in 2020), everyone was home. Where were the matches? Last year, we played only T20 cricket.
As I said, there were no matches in 2020. Everyone was sitting at home because of COVID-19. We hardly played ODIs, I was injured so I played two Tests during that time, so you have to put all of that in perspective.
“We were playing T20 cricket last year. And in T20 cricket, there’s no better batsman than Suryakumar Yadav at the moment. He has hit two hundreds and I don’t think anyone else has.”
Centuries from opener Rohit and his partner-in-crime Shubman Gill sealed India’s 90-run win over New Zealand at the Holkar Cricket Stadium. Reflecting on India’s memorable series win, Indian skipper Rohit showered praise on all-rounder Shardul Thakur for spearheading the fightback of the hosts with the ball in the high-scoring contest.
Indian all-rounder Shardul bagged three crucial wickets for India and the pacer was also named the Player of the Match. “Shardul has been doing it for a while. People call him magician in the squad and he came and delivered,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation. The Indian skipper Rohit also opened up about his century drought after lauding in-form batter Shubman Gill and spin wizard Kuldeep Yadav for their superlative performances in the New Zealand series.
“Every time I have given Kuldeep the ball he has given breakthroughs and taken important wickets. The wrist spinners get better with game time. Gill’s approach is quite similar every game. He wants to start fresh every game. As a youngster, coming into the team and having that attitude is great. He could have taken it lightly but he doesn’t seem to be that type. Today’s hundred means a lot to me. I’ve been batting well, so it was just about going that extra mile. The pitch was good today,” Rohit said.
Rohit had last registered an ODI century against Australia at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2020. On Tuesday, batting icon Rohit completed his century in just 83 balls making the record-equalling 30th ton his second-fastest century in ODIs. The 35-year-old also matched Sanath Jayasuriya’s record of hitting the second-most ODI centuries (28) as an opener. India’s all-format captain has accumulated 9,782 runs in 241 ODIs.