Team India skipper Rohit Sharma slammed his first ODI hundred after more than 1000 days, while Shubman Gill notched up his third in his last four innings (including a double ton). Thanks in main to the opening duo, the Men in Blue put up 385/9 in the third ODI against New Zealand in Indore on Tuesday, January 24.
The Indians were sent in to the bat after losing the toss on a batting beauty at the Holkar Cricket Stadium. Openers Rohit and Gill looked in no trouble at all, adding 212 for the opening wicket in 26.1 overs. After easing their way to a few boundaries, Rohit and Gill clobbered Jacob Duffy for a six each in the fifth over.
Gill then plundered fast bowler Lockie Ferguson for 22 runs in the eighth over, smashing four fours and a six. The big hits kept flowing like they normally do in a T20 game. Gill was the first to reach his fifty, driving Mitchell Santner for a four. In the left-arm spinner’s next over, the Indian captain also got to his half-century. He launched the bowler for a maximum over his head and followed it up with a pull, which also landed well beyond the ropes.
With the pitch offering nothing for the bowlers, it only seemed like a formality before the Indian openers reached their respective hundreds. Rohit got there first, with a single off Blair Tickner in the 26th over. The 83-ball ton was the Indian captain’s first in the ODI format since January 2020. In the same over, Gill also reached his century, off only 72 balls, hitting the Kiwi pacer for a four, thus carrying on his rich vein of form with the willow.
Rohit perished for 101 off 85 balls, bowled by Michael Bracewell as he looked for a slog. Virat Kohli whacked his second ball for six, but a commendable fightback was to follow from the Kiwis. After clobbering Tickner for a maximum, Gill miscued the next ball to point. Ishan Kishan (17) was then run out following a horrible mix-up with Kohli as both batters ended up at the striker’s end.
Kohli was looking good for a big one, but fell to Duffy for 36 off 27, caught at wide mid-off while driving one in the air. Suryakumar Yadav (14) slammed a couple of sixes before holing out to long-on off Duffy. Washington Sundar (nine) also perished cheaply, miscuing a catch to point off Tickner’s bowling. From 212 no loss, Team India slipped to 313 for six.
Hardik Pandya lifts Team India to 385 after hosts lose way
All-rounder Hardik Pandya hammered 54 off 38 balls to ensure India finished with an impressive total of 385/9. After a flurry of wickets, he led the fightback for the hosts with an excellent counterattack. He struck three fours and as many sixes as Team India regained momentum.
Pandya and Shardul Thakur (25 off 17) added 54 runs for the seventh wicket to bring the innings back on track. Thakur’s cameo ended in the 48th over as he was caught behind off Tickner. Pandya hit a six and four off Duffy in the penultimate over before he holed out to long-on.