Mohali: He was the only batsman with two scores of 200-plus in ODIs. On Wednesday, Sri Lanka's nightmare from 2014 when Rohit Sharma hit the world's highest individual score of 264 returned when the explosive opener smashed 208 in the second ODI to add to his tally of double centuries. Thanks to his strike rate of 135.94, India managed to set a target of 393.
Captaining the side in the absence of Virat Kohli, Rohit's performance was under scanner — especially after a diabolical batting collapse in the first ODI in Dharamsala. More than making up for the nightmare in the hills, Rohit unleashed batting mayhem after Sri Lanka opted to field at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.
Rohit got off to a steady start with Shikhar Dhawan. The duo brought up India's first 100 runs in the 20th over with Dhawan doing bulk of the scoring. The Delhi batsman was also the first to reach 50 off 47 balls. He, however, fell two overs later — allowing Rohit to take over.
The Mumbai batsman first brought up his 50 off 65 balls — courtesy nine fours and a solitary six. Soon after, he switched gears and batting with young Sheryas Iyer, pulverised Sri Lankan bowlers with carefree aggression. He brought up his 16th ODI ton as India captain off 115 balls.
It was the 44th over though that was the main highlight with Rohit targeting medium-pacer Suranga Lakmal. The sequence was: 43.2: Low full-toss whacked over midwicket; 43.3: Full toss outside off stump put to the stands behind square-leg; 43.4: Full toss on middle stump dispatched over square-leg; 43.5: Slower one rocketed beyond midwicket.
The writing was already on the wall. A barrage of sixes followed Lakmal over as wife Ritika could hardly contain her smile from the special enclosure. In the stands down below and all over, it was a cricketing carnival.
Rohit dedicated his third double century to his wife Ritika Sajdeh on the occasion of their second marriage anniversary on Wednesday.