India vs New Zealand: Rohit Sharma reflects on career, gets nostalgic in 200th ODI
The acting skipper’s 200th ODI turned out to be a nightmare as Kiwi pacer Trent Boult ran riot to finish with figures of 5/21 from his 10 overs, including 4 maiden overs.
Opening batsman Rohit Sharma on Thursday became the 14th Indian player to play 200 ODIs. While admitting that there has been a lot of ups and downs in his career so far, the 31-year-old said that the “200th game is special”.
“Yeah, 200th game is special. Lots of ups and downs but I am happy where I am,” Rohit said at the toss.
The right-hand batsman is playing as a stand-in skipper in the ongoing fourth ODI against New Zealand, which marks his 200th ODI appearance, as Virat Kohli has been rested for the last two matches.
Meanwhile, India lost the toss and batted first in the fourth match. Top-order batsman Shubman Gill was handed his debut cap in the match by MS Dhoni.
Having already pocketed the series 3-0, India have included two newcomers in the team- Gill and Khaleel Ahmed- with the aim of testing the bench strength.
“Gill is a very promising talent. He has shown a lot of promise in the past. We are looking to bat first as well. We wanted to get some bases covered before the next series. 3-0 is a great achievement. And we want to finish off really well,” Sharma said after the toss.
The acting skipper’s 200th ODI turned out to be a nightmare as Kiwi pacer Trent Boult ran riot to finish with figures of 5/21 from his 10 overs, including 4 maiden overs. None of the top-order batsmen could make it count as the Indians registered the unwanted record of lowest contribution by the top six Indian batsmen in an away ODI.
The Indian top six could manage only 35 runs to create the unwanted record as the earlier record stood at 39 when the top six Indian batsmen were put on the backfoot by the English bowlers at the Oval in 1982. On Thursday, it was the perfect toss to win for Kane Williamson in conditions which suited swing bowling and Boult reposed the faith shown by his captain as he derailed the Indians innings.
While Rohit’s poor show in milestone matches continued, dismissed for just 7, Shikhar Dhawan too failed to convert what looked like a good start. Starting with a six and a boundary, Dhawan was trapped plumb in front by Boult for a 20-ball 13. Debutant Shubman Gill too showed signs of flair as he hit a beautiful cover drive, but it wasn’t to be a dream debut as Bolt got one to stop just a tad bit on the batsman and then happily grabbed the return catch.
Ambati Rayudu’s poor run continued as he failed to bother the scorers. His 4-ball duck was followed by senior batsman Dinesh Karthik’s three-ball duck. With regular keeper and former captain MS Dhoni rested for the game, the onus was on Karthik to make it count, but he failed to grab that opportunity.
Kedar Jadhav too failed to take the chance of spending quality time in the middle as Boult trapped him right in front for just 1. While the diminutive batsman did take the DRS, but that was more a formality than anything else as he was the last recognized batsman.