In an Instagram live hosted by Ravichandran Ashwin on Monday, Rohit Sharma gave insight into a difference of opinion he had with Mahendra Singh Dhoni when he scored his first double century in One-Day International cricket.
Ashwin, on his show Reminisce with Ash, brought Rohit on to discuss the latter’s epic double-ton against Australia in the 2013 series decider at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. In that match, Rohit ended up scoring 209 runs from 158 balls, with 12 fours and 16 sixes, to help India win by 57 runs and clinch the seven-match series 3-2.
Batting first in that game, India finished with a mammoth total of 383/6 in their 50 overs. After a 112-run opening partnership, India lost the wickets of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh with 207 runs on the board in 33.5 overs. And that’s when Rohit and Dhoni (62 off 38) got together to stitch a partnership of 167 runs in 92 balls to put the hosts in a commanding position.
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Talking about his stand with Dhoni, Rohit said that the then India captain wanted him to take a cautious approach when they got together at the crease, which was a strategy he didn’t agree with.
“You know how it is with MS in the middle,” said Rohit. “He likes to talk, he likes to keep adding his thoughts about what I should do.
“He was telling me ‘you’re the set batsman and I want you to bat till the 48th, 49th of 50th over, because you can hit any bowler anywhere you want. So let me take chances, you just take a backseat, take singles, knock the ball in the gaps, and find the odd boundary if you can’. And I just thought ‘no yaar, I’m seeing the ball really well and I might as well put pressure on the bowlers right here, right now’. Then I decided to just go after the bowlers. And I remember hitting Xavier Doherty for four sixes in an over.”
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To put things in perspective, Rohit was on 95 off 99 when Dhoni came out to bat. He added 114 runs off 59 deliveries during the partnership between the two. The acceleration proved to be crucial as Australia threatened to get close in the chase, with James Faulkner hitting a 73-ball 116 batting at No 7.
Watch Ashwin’s entire chat with Rohit here: