Rohit ne maar ke bharta bana dia: Akhtar recalls Sachin’s WC assault after 3rd ODI
Rohit Sharma’s love affair with Australia continued after the India opener made a well-paced 119 to help India chase down the 287-run target and win the 3rd ODI against Australia at Bengaluru on Sunday. The win meant, India clinched the series 2-1 after being 0-1 down. Impressed with Rohit Sharma’s brilliance with the bat on a Bengaluru track which offered more turn than usual, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar said batting comes naturally to him.
Rohit Sharma made 119 and put on a key 137-run second-wicket stand with skipper Virat Kohli, who made 89, as India reached home in 47.3 overs.
“When Rohit is on song then he doesn’t care whether the ball is good or bad because he has so much of time, he has so much of elegance when he plays the shots. It (batting) comes very easy and naturally to him,” said Shoaib Akhtar on his Youtube channel.
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Akhtar further stated that Rohit’s ability to upper cut fast deliveries reminded him of that famous Sachin Tendulkar upper cut of 2003 ODI World Cup India vs Pakistan match in Centurion. Sachin had deposited Akhtar’s short delivery for a six over third man. “You saw his ruthlessness today. Usne maar maar k bharta nikal dia. He hit Mitchell Starc, he went after Cummins. The cut shot that he hit reminded me of Tendulkar’s six,” added Akhtar.
This is not the first time a comparison between Sachin and Rohit’s upper cut has been drawn. ICC had done the same when Rohit cut Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali for a six over third man in ODI World Cup 2019.
Rohit played an upper cut off Mitchell Starc’s bowling in the last ball of the 4th over of India’s chase that hit the ropes on the full. The short and wide delivery was there to hit but Rohit had no intentions of keeping it down.
Rohit hit 8 fours and 6 sixes in his innings and completed his eighth century against Australia. He now has the joint 2nd most centuries with Virat Kohli against Australia. The record belongs to Sachin Tendulkar, who has 9.
During the course of the innings Rohit also became the 3rd fastest to reach 9000 ODI runs. He finally fell to Adam Zampa’s leg spin as the senior batsman attempted a big hit but the ball top-edged off his bat to be caught by Mitchell Starc at long-on.
But that didn’t stop India from reaching the target with ease mainly due to Virat Kohli’s brilliance and a cameo in the end from Shreyas Iyer.
“On days like this, if it comes off, it looks good,” Rohit said after the match.
“It was an important game, the decider, and we wanted to come out and enjoy ourselves. To keep that Australian batting under 290 was a great effort. Once KL got out, it needed nobody better than the captain himself,”Rohit added.