Rohit Sharma played an innings that can be explained only in superlatives on Friday in Indore. He scored 118 off 43 balls and his innings was punctuated by 12 fours and 10 sixes against a hapless Sri Lankan bowling attack in the second T20I. The Indian captain got to his century in 35 balls, the fastest by an Indian and the joint quickest by any batsman in T20I cricket, a record he shares with David Miller. “The stage was set, good conditions to bat. Was trying to do what I do, hit through the line. It came off really well. Went out there and had some fun,” he said in the post-match presentation.
Such was the ferocity of his innings that a double century looked like a possibility at one point. But Rohit said that the milestone never crossed his mind. “That’s too much to ask (a double-hundred),” he said. India ended up making 260/5, courtesy an equally ballistic innings by KL Rahul (89 off 49 balls). It is the joint second-highest total made by a team in T20 Internationals. “Any target here is not defendable, KL is in great form. There is a template to my batting, which I follow. Try to hold my shape,” said Rohit.
Sri Lanka looked like they could pull off an almighty upset. That was when Kusal Perera and Upul Tharanga made a second wicket partnership of 109 runs off 53 balls. But wrist-spin duo Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav came swooping in and wiped off the Sri Lankan batting attack. “They have been doing well for India and always they bring us back,” said Rohit, “I don’t mind such games where they are put under pressure, they were ready to take the pressure and Kuldeep changed the game and Chahal has been doing well for sometime now. So I always had belief on them.”
The win allows India take a 2-0 lead and thus seal the series. Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews could not come out to bat and captain Thisara Perera confirmed he won’t be batting in the final match in Mumbai. “Mathews, I think is now out of the series with a hamstring injury. It is most unfortunate as he is our main middle order batsman,” he said.