In a sensational comeback after a 14-month hiatus, Rohit Sharma’s century against Afghanistan in Bengaluru not only shattered records but also injected a surge of optimism among fans in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup 2024. The Indian captain, who faced disappointment with back-to-back ducks in the first two games, displayed an unparalleled resolve to break free from the shackles. The stage was set in the third encounter at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, where Rohit dazzled with a remarkable display of boundaries and sixes.
During his impressive 69-ball innings, Rohit struck 11 boundaries and sent the ball over the ropes 8 times, achieving his highest T20I score of an unbeaten 121. His partnership with Rinku Singh, who secured his second fifty, propelled India to a commanding total of 212/4 in 20 overs.
Despite Afghanistan matching the hosts’ score, they succumbed to defeat in the second Super Over. Rohit’s triumph in this game also marked a significant milestone, as he equaled MS Dhoni’s record of winning 41 T20Is as the captain of the Indian cricket team. Sunil Gavaskar, former captain and cricket pundit, showered accolades on Rohit and Rinku for rescuing India from a precarious situation.
In praise of Rohit’s captaincy skills, Sunil Gavaskar remarked, “This is the format where your captaincy skills are really tested. If he has a higher winning percentage than MS and Virat, that tells you what a good captain he is.” He commended the duo for displaying cricketing intelligence when the team was struggling at 22/4 in the Powerplay (4.3 overs).
Instead of adhering to the conventional T20 template of aggressive batting from the outset, Rohit and Rinku opted for a more strategic approach.
Sunil Gavaskar elaborated, “Both Rohit and Rinku used their cricketing intelligence at 22-4 and said no. We can get runs later on but let’s just give ourselves a little bit of time.” Their partnership, which added over 100 runs in the last five overs, showcased their adaptability and resilience, transforming the team’s fortunes from a precarious start to a formidable total of 212/4.
While acknowledging that this approach might be a one-off, Gavaskar emphasized the importance of possessing cricketing intelligence and the ability to adapt to the situation. The innings became a testament to Rohit and Rinku’s skillset, underlining their pivotal role in steering India to victory.