Aus 359/5,India 362/1 in 43.3 overs,Rohit 141*,Kohli 100* off 52https://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/aus-359-5-india-362-1-in-43-3-overs-rohit-141-kohli-100-off-52/

Aus 359/5,India 362/1 in 43.3 overs,Rohit 141*,Kohli 100* off 52

Same target,same opposition and a decade later,those boys-turned-men in a brave new Indian team.

When Australia set India a target of over 350 runs in one-day cricket for the first time,in the 2003 World Cup final in Johannesburg,Rohit Sharma,Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan were all in school.

Like most cricket-crazy boys of that age,they must have prayed before their television screens for India and Sachin Tendulkar to pull off a miracle by chasing down the score of 359/2. Tendulkar got out for 4 and India lost by 125 runs.

Same target,same opposition and a decade later,those boys-turned-men in a brave new Indian team left nothing to prayer.

At the Sawai Man Singh Stadium Wednesday,Sharma,Kohli and Dhawan helped India record the second highest chase in the history of one-day cricket after South Africa’s penultimate ball win chasing 435 seven years ago.

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But unlike South Africa’s win,India’s top three ensured they did it without jitters. And in style — with 39 balls and nine wickets to spare.

Man of the Match Sharma played the anchor knock with his third ODI hundred,an unbeaten 141 — his highest score and best knock to date. Kohli,still a month shy of his 25th birthday,tonked out the 16th ODI hundred of his career. Scored off just 52 balls,it was the fastest by an Indian. And Dhawan’s glorious comeback year continued,as he fell just five short of what would have been his fourth ODI hundred and fifth overall of 2013.

“These boys don’t have the experience of a Yuvraj Singh or even someone like me,” said captain M S Dhoni at the presentation ceremony. “So keeping that in mind and what they achieved,this is one of the best chases you can ever see in cricket. It is one of the best games I have been involved in.”

It perhaps wouldn’t have felt like that for the first 50 overs,when Australia were batting. Led by big-hitting captain George Bailey’s 50-ball 92,each of Australia’s top five batsman scored fifties to take the side to 359/5.

Ishant Sharma,Vinay Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja all conceded over 70 runs to allow the total to balloon. But in hindsight,for India,this day was darkest just before the sun went down.