491 runs ! Yes, that is the new world record for Most Runs In a Bilateral ODI Series. Who is the player ? Well, Rohit Sharma of India achieved the feat in the Star Sports Cup between India and Australia, held in India during October-November 2013.
He achieved this feat during his innings of 209 (158 balls, 12×4, 16×6) in the final match of the series at Bengaluru on 2nd November, 2013. Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and now Rohit Sharma are the three double centurions in ODI cricket. Sharma’s day could have been very different—early on in the innings he ran out teammate and India star Virat Kohli when the latter had yet to score. Rohit Sharma also hit a World Record 16 sixes in his knock of 209, beating Shane Watson’s record of 15 sixes. His second century, moving from 100 to 200, came in just 42 balls, a sign of just how extraordinary his hitting was.
Rohit Sharma might have felt the need to compensate his team and the crowd for running out Virat Kohli, the hottest batting talent in India at the moment, for a duck. He did so by hitting 16 sixes, a world record for an ODI innings, powering to a double-century, the third in one-day cricket and all of them by Indian batsmen, and setting Australia a target of 384 to win the seven-match series in Bangalore. Compensate he did, indeed.
Rohit and MS Dhoni plundered 167 runs off 94 balls for the fifth wicket. India scored 151 runs in the last ten overs, of which 101 came in the last five. Rohit had gone past 100 off 114 balls. He had been dropped on 120. And then he went past 200 off 156 deliveries. The easy-paced pitch, the shortness of the Chinnaswamy Stadium’s boundaries, the waywardness of Australia’s seamers, the absence of Mitchell Johnson and the injury to Shane Watson were factors that gave Rohit the perfect stage, and he played the perfect innings, resplendent for the grace and smoothness of his strokes. As ball after ball sped off Rohit’s bat to and over the boundary, it was difficult to recall that he had been the supporting act during his sixth century stand in 19 innings with Shikhar Dhawan, their third such opening partnership of this series. And that he had to overcome a testing period, when Dhawan was trapped lbw in the 19th over and Kohli run out in the 20th. In his stand of 167 with MS Dhoni, the latter (no slouch himself) contributed just 54 runs.
All this, after he didn’t get to bat in two of the washed out matches. Wonder what the tally would have read then !!!!