Twitter always goes totally berserk irrespective of whether explosive Indian batsman Rohit Sharma succeeds spectacularly or fails miserably. He trends both ways and totally owns Twitter.
But this was one of those good days when Rohit scored an unprecedented third ODI double (nobody even has two) and helped India level the series 1-1 with Sri Lanka in the second match of the ODI series at Mohali.
Many on Twitter asked for Rohit’s photo to be put on the newly introduced Rs 200 note after his latest blockbuster with Sri Lanka, with one such photoshopped image doing the rounds…
You can't blame them. It seems unbelievable that for close to 40 years till 2010 in ODI cricket, batsmen struggled to touch the 200 mark in an innings with two 194s and seven scores in the 180s. But once the jinx was broken, no man has brutalized bowlers all over the world as much has Rohit the Destroyer, who now has all his ODI 200s in the last 4 odd years!
Rohit is just 30 and it's safe to say that he will be eyeing his fourth double every time he goes to bat in an ODI innings. The most 'talented' youngster (fans got sick and tired of this adjective being thrown non-stop by commentators); he was once the butt of myriad jokes.
But Rohit probably has already hit a six for every joke that has been made on him on Twitter. Talk about getting your revenge in style!
The Second Coming of Rohit just rolls on as opponents can only watch in amazement.
From 2007-12 Rohit averaged just 30.4 in ODIs and made just two centuries.
However from 2013 to now, around the time when the then captain MS Dhoni promoted him to ODI opener, Rohit averages 58.4 with 14 centuries and of course three of them happen to be doubles.
But what a moment to get the third double! In the first ODI at Dharamsala, Rohit made his debut as ODI captain to a grade 1 disaster. At 29-7, India was looking to fold below its lowest ever score of 54 and only an MS Dhoni half-century prevented that. Rohit himself made an abysmal 2 off 13 balls.
Sri Lanka was looking for their first bilateral series win against India since 2008 and seemed favourites till they were totally blown away by the Rohit blockbuster tsunami. While Rohit's first 100 came off a relatively slow 115, he went berserk after that and blasted the second 100 in just 36 balls.
The turning point probably came in the 44th over. After 43 overs Rohit was 116 off 126 balls and was looking at a 150 and at best a 175. However four straight legal deliveries were hit for sixes and Rohit suddenly jumped to 140. 200 No. 3 was on the horizon!
The hapless bowler was Suranga Lakmal. Lakmal had a great first Test with India in the current series but after that has been totally neutralized being hit with great regularity in all matches after that.
The sixes and fours continued till the 49th over and Rohit was on 191 while taking strike at the beginning of the last over. A six off the first ball and you knew that the double was in the bag and Rohit ended up being not out on 208, his first unbeaten double. Rohit hit 12 sixes in all.
The knock came on a personal milestone too. Rohit hit his third ODI double as he entered the third year of his married life. How many husbands can boast of celebrating a marriage anniversary in this fashion? That’s tonnes of pressure on all other husbands of the world.
Since his second coming in 2013, Rohit’s top ODI scores are...
264, 209, 208*, 171*, 150, 147, 141*, 138 and 137!
Let's face it. Rohit's totally unstoppable when he gets going. When it’s his day and when he has overcome his starting blues, he suddenly transforms himself into the greatest ODI batsman of all time.
When Rohit scores he scores big. No bowler in the world can stop him. No captain can set a field to him. His sixes are effortless and come from any part of the bat and can go to any part of the field. Sometimes he looks to be playing a delicate false shot and yet the ball zooms over the boundary!
Effortless. Graceful. Brutal. Unstoppable. Unflappable. Inevitable. That's been the story of each of Rohit's three double centuries.
And it's not like he is just a flat track bully. He has the highest ODI score against Australia in Australia in history, an unbeaten 171. He beat a record set by West Indian great Sir Vivian Richards and very few can even boast of a 150 there against the tough Aussies.
Don't forget that Rohit's the only IPL captain with three tournament trophies (ahead of two each by MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir) and one Champions League. He has the most ODI sixes against Australia.
Rohit has 16 sixes in an ODI innings, a world record. He even has an IPL hat-trick while bowling! One really wonders why he is made so much fun of!
The title of 'Master Blaster' went seamlessly from Richards to Sachin Tendulkar and then to Virender Sehwag. However that crown probably sits on Rohit's head today.
He's a master blaster in his own right and much faster than the above three!
Shikhar Dhawan. Hardik Pandya. Kedar Jadhav. India has no shortage of heavy hitters. Even Shreyas Iyer’s knock of 88 off 70 was totally overshadowed in the Mohali match.
But Rohit at the beginning. Virat Kohli after that. And Dhoni at the end.
What more can anyone ask for?
If this trinity cannot win us the 2019 ODI World Cup, then who can?