Dubai: Rohit Sharma, whose prolific form earned him the ‘ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year’ award in 2019, rated his century against South Africa under somewhat challenging conditions as the best among his five three-figure knocks in the ICC World Cup in England. He was the first batsman to have scored as many centuries in the 50-overs showpiece, overtaking Kumar Sangakkara’s tally of four in the 2015 World Cup.
Sharma, who scored an aggregate of 1382 runs to emerge as the highest rungetter in ODIs in a calendar year, ended the tournament as the topscorer with 648 runs though India suffered an upset defeat in the semi-final to New Zealand.
This included an imperious 140 that he scored against Pakistan but Rohit said that his favourite ton was the one he scored against South Africa in India’s opening fixture.
My favourite hundred in the World Cup was against South Africa in the first game that we played. Although it was a low total, the conditions were quite challenging and their bowling attack was really good
Taking to his twitter handle to interact with fans on the ‘Friendship Day,’ a candid Rohit Said: “My favourite hundred in the World Cup was against South Africa in the first game that we played. Although it was a low total, the conditions were quite challenging and their bowling attack was really good.”
India restricted South Africa to 227/9 with Yuzvendra Chahal picking four wickets and pace bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah scalped two each.
India, however, did not enjoy a free run to the relatively low total and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Rohit however stuck through and scored an unbeaten 122 off 144 balls.
The next best score for India was 34 scored by veteran wicketkeeper M.S. Dhoni while India’s top-order stars Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli failed to fire, managing just eight and 18 runs, respectively.
Rohit, meanwhile, singled out his most special moment with Dhoni came when he hit his first ODI double century. The graceful batsman scored the first of his three ODI double centuries on November 2, 2013 against Australia in Bengaluru.
“Best moment with MS (Dhoni) was my first double hundred, he was batting with me and we had a long partnership,” he said.
Rohit almost played through the innings and hit 12 fours and 16 sixes in his epic knock as he shared a 112-run opening stand with Dhawan and then a 72-run stand for the third wicket with Suresh Raina.
However, it was his 167-run stand with Dhoni in which Rohit truly flattened the Australian bowlers. He smashed 114 runs in that partnership off just 59 balls. Dhoni himself smashed 62 off 38 balls.