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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Rohit Sharma hurting Australia with the big sixes he hits at will

Rohit Sharma’s six-hitting ability against Australia cricket team has gone relatively unnoticed but it has allowed Indian cricket team to change the course of the match on several occasions

india-vs-australia-2017 Updated: Sep 26, 2017 20:37 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Bangalore
Indian cricket team opener Rohit Sharma hit six fours and four sixes in his match-winning 71 against Australia cricket team in the third ODI at Holkar Stadium in Indore on Sunday.
Indian cricket team opener Rohit Sharma hit six fours and four sixes in his match-winning 71 against Australia cricket team in the third ODI at Holkar Stadium in Indore on Sunday. (PTI)

The Holkar Stadium in Indore witnessed an exhibition of big-hitting by the Indian cricket team batsmen against Australia. Hardik Pandya hit sixes at will but it was Rohit Sharma, whose aggressive 71 off 62, a knock that included six fours and four sixes, that took the game away from Steve Smith’s side.

Heading into the Bengaluru ODI, a venue with short boundaries, Australia cricket team will have to face not only an in-form team, but will also be desperate to stop a Rohit Sharma, who, at the same venue in 2013, had provided an exhibition of power-hitting that stunned the visitors.

For Australia, who have already lost the series and are aiming to avoid a 5-0 whitewash, Rohit is a nightmare.

Love for sixes

In the last four years, Rohit Sharma has become a six-hitting monster. It all began at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium during the 2013 series. In the seventh and final ODI of the series, Rohit blasted 209 off 158 balls. The knock included 12 fours and 16 sixes. The tally of sixes remains a world record.

Prior to the Bengaluru ODI in 2013, in the first 15 games against Australia, he managed only eight sixes. The key factor behind Rohit’s six-hitting prowess has been his promotion as opener. In his first 11 games, he was batting at positions four, five and six.

After opening in the 2013 series, Rohit unfurled a new dimension to his batting. His 141 not out in Jaipur saw him hit four sixes, but it was the Bengaluru double ton that put him in a different league altogether.

Australia out of the park

Since that 209, Rohit has enjoyed a tremendous run of form against Steve Smith’s side. His run of scores has been 138, 34, 171*, 124, 6, 41, 99, 28, 7, 71. Remarkably, his tally of sixes in each of the games was 4, 2, 7, 3, 0, 3, 1, 0, 0, 4.

In 10 games, he has hit a six in seven of those matches and they have all been a big number. In any venue, Rohit loves to hit Australia out of the park. In Indore, he literally lived up to that term. One six off Kane Richardson sailed over deep midwicket and went out of the stadium. The distance was 103 metres.

If Rohit hits two more sixes in the fourth ODI, he will become the third batsmen in ODI history to hit 50 sixes against an opposition. Rohit is the leading six-hitter in international cricket against Australia (across formats) with 65, going past Brendon McCullum’s tally of 61.

With the series already lost, Australia will be desperate to arrest their slide in overseas competitions. However, with Rohit blazing away at the top and with the short boundaries at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, the wait could be a tad longer.

First Published: Sep 26, 2017 19:34 IST