India v Australia, 2nd ODI, Jaipur October 16, 2013

It was a much-needed knock - Rohit Sharma

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rohit Sharma has said his unbeaten 141 off 123 balls was "a much-needed knock" because it was only his third ODI century and his first since 2010, a drought perhaps caused by his tendency, by his own admission, to play "some stupid shots."

Rohit's innings spearheaded India's chase of 359 in only 43.3 overs, the highest total in ODIs for the loss of only one wicket. Virat Kohli's 52-ball 100 smashed the record for the fastest century by an Indian, and an explosive Shikhar Dhawan missed out on a century by five runs.

India captain MS Dhoni said he had trusted his batsmen to achieve the huge target, and all he had asked was for them not to slog blindly.

"Most of us guys have played a bit of international cricket, but they don't have the experience of a Yuvraj Singh, who has played 250 or 260-odd ODIs," Dhoni said. "So at times when you chase 360, what you want to do is go out there and be aggressive and go for the big shots, but it's very important to not lose shape. When you are going over mid-off, it should look like you are going over mid-off, and not like slogging over midwicket. [While playing] most of the shots [today], if not all, they maintained good shape. It was an ideal wicket too with the dew. Very fast outfield too."

The victory helped India level the seven-match series against Australia 1-1, and Rohit was one of the key players in achieving the second highest successful chase in ODIs. "It was very important for me to play a big innings," he said. "I knew it was a long time. I would like to say again that the hard work never stopped. I have kept preparing the same way as today. It was a much-needed knock, and I am happy it came in a winning cause. I wanted to bat through the innings. I completely agree that I have played some stupid shots [in the past] to get out. That's my natural game. I would like to play my shots."

Rohit put on 176 for the first wicket with Shikhar Dhawan but it was his partnership with Kohli that blew Australia away. When Kohli came in to bat, India still needed 183 in 23.5 overs, but he just ran away with the game and allowed Rohit to pace his innings. "I kept telling Rohit that it was his day today, but I kept hitting the ball very well," Kohli said. "I didn't bat in the nets yesterday, just had a few throw downs."

In the first game, India had to tackle bouncers both on and off the field, with old questions being asked about their ability to play short-pitched bowling. "I wasn't worried about the short-pitched stuff," Kohli said after his century. "I pulled a few of them early, and then they started bowling half-volleys."

The third component of India's chase, Dhawan who made 95, was not complaining about missing a century. "We started off very well and once we got the momentum, we just carried on," he said. "We didn't want to play rash shots early, we opened up only later. I am happy for Rohit that he got the century today, because he was playing well in the last few months."

'Happy I batted through the innings' - Rohit

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Saransh on October 19, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    @Sir_Ivor: Excuse me. Did you just say, "India won the Champions trophy in England (On Traditional English Wickets)." I reckon you should start watching matches rather than just reading reports on CricInfo. India played on SQUARE TURNERS in England. Apart, from the game against SL, India very conveniently were playing on wickets which suit them. We can have all the, "But it was an ICC tournament and blah blah India can't have their way blah blah, but we all know what goes behind the scenes. BCCI is the highest authority, thanks to the money they've got. Commentators cannot comment, ICC is a puppet, DRS not required, We don't like the CSA President so we curtail the tour (actually, because of Sachin and the Indians' green fever). My point is that, NO - India cannot play on green tracks for nuts. Everyone knows that, don't just support your team and defend their shortcomings. Aussies cannot play spin that well, no hiding there. We saw what a LITTLE bit of grass does in Pune.

  • Dummy4 on October 19, 2013, 17:01 GMT

    And when is the next one coming.Any time Soon?

  • Shiv on October 19, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    It's funny how some people keep whinning about pitches. If Aus score 360 then Indian bowling is weak but when India chases down the score then pitches are flat. Haters will always hate.

  • Dummy4 on October 18, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    @prasanna - very well said and I do agree with u. But remember before Virat kholi had made his test debut, he had the same problem. But as he played more test matches that technique improved - obvious from his 70 odd in Perth. So this is what I think Rohit Sharma needs to do. He has the hunger to improve. Remember raina, with a well known short ball weakness, can play about 15 test matches; if gambhir can play 13 test matches in a row despite an obvious weakness outside off stump, then why can't Rohit who has a first class average of 60 make his test debut.

  • VENKATESA on October 18, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    I am an unbiased neutral Indian Cricket Fan & I still feel that Rohit Sharma is far from a finished product as a batsman.. Still needs to improve his technique outside his off-stump against pace bowling & the occassional waft outside the off stump should also go.. He was extremely lucky to score some runs in the Westindies tri-series for he could have easily nicked one outside off on his off-day..,was beaten atleast ten to fifteen times outside off in a single game against SL in one of the matches there.. Though he is making some runs consistently off late..,the manner in which he is beaten outside off against moving ball is a matter of serious concern & one against which he should work really hard to avoid.. A player like Kohli who has a more solid game is more likely to succeed & perform consistently over a long period of time than this flashy,slow moving Rohit Sharma.. I hold nothing against him but just an honest opinion.. A season of County cricket would do wonders i wud suggest..

  • Dummy4 on October 18, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    Who gives a damn if RS scored a 100. He is third class player, should never represent India.

  • Venkat on October 18, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    @Sir_Ivor, very well said. I look forward to reading your posts like I do with many here. There are of course some names I know to skip and ignore completely. Coming to the subject, Dhawan looks solid with the short pitched stuff almost as much as with the full ones. I love the way he takes it to the opposition and tries to dominate the bowling. He goes after the short stuff pretty well and sometimes steps out to them. It would be nice to see him playing test cricket in SA and do well against the short stuff. He along with Kohli and Rohit are a treat to watch with the short stuff.

  • Subramani on October 18, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    It is ridiculous that this perceived short coming of the Indian batsmen against short pitched bowling keeps coming up every time India loses. In recent times, India have won the Champions Trophy held in England and later the tri series in the West Indies. In both these tournaments,there was abundant short-pitched bowling witnessed by some of the fastest bowlers in the world.In fact in the tournament opener,India played South Africa on one of the bounciest wickets . India scored over 330 and won the game.The point is that on the odd occasion any batting line-up plays poorly against a good set of fast bowlers.That does not make the side's batsmen scared of short pitched bowling. There was a time when England were bullied to an embarrassing level by Lillee and Thomson. No one said that they were scared of fast bowling.

  • Pratik on October 18, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    i think Rohit is an extraordinary cricketer, but he needs to be more consistance in the ODI format, and played long inning like 141 not out, and he deserve to get chance in Test Cricket, may be he will score more in Test Cricket.

  • Tahir on October 18, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    What a turnaround in indian performance after losing the first ODI and nobody is surprised that India opted to make a flat track to provide a sound show. In the past also doctoring pitches has even backfired like against england. First ODI pace was kept to give ishant and co a chance to show if they can utilize it but they proved to be impotent. So, the easier solution was to make it flat. Really boring cricket with bowlers have nothing to bowl for.