New Zealand needed 2 runs from 2 balls to win the 3rd T20I vs India in Hamilton on Wednesday. Put under pressure by Mohammed Shami, they somehow managed to fluff the chase ending up with the same total that India had made. Next, when India were under the pump requiring 10 off 2 balls to win in the Super Over, Rohit Sharma hit back-to-back 2 sixes to seal the series victory for the tourists.
While Super Over statistics don’t count in players’ career numbers, Rohit Sharma had already completed 10,000 runs as an opener in international cricket (Tests/ODIs/T20Is) during his 65 off 40 balls earlier in the match. In doing so, Rohit became only the 4th Indian to achieve the milestone, joining the likes of Virender Sehwag (16,119), Sachin Tendulkar (15,335) and Sunil Gavaskar (12,258) in the elite list.
The overall list is topped by former Sri Lankan legend Sanath Jayasuriya who scored a mammoth 19,298 runs as an opener across all formats. He is followed by Chris Gayle whose 18,834 runs as an opener make him a true legend of the game.
Though Rohit Sharma still has a long way to go before surpassing his India seniors on this particular list, the opener now holds a unique position in the pecking order. Of all the openers to have scored more than 10,000 runs in international matches, Rohit is currently the only one averaging above 50. Rohit’s batting average of 50.33 as an opener is way ahead of the 2nd best on this list – Sachin Tendulkar’s 48.07.
Earlier, chasing 18 runs, KL Rahul and Rohit could only manage 8 runs of the 1st 4 balls as Southee kept using his variations to perfection. But Rohit pounced on the next 2 deliveries to collect 12 runs as his teammates ran towards the infield from the dugout.
65(40) followed by 15(4) in #SuperOver.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 29, 2020
Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony, “Never batted in a Super Over before. Didn’t know what to expect, whether to go from the 1st ball or take a single and see what I can do.”
Rohit also stressed the importance of the match as India were looking for history. According to Rohit, it was important for the “important” members of the team to step up given the enormity of the occasion.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 29, 2020
“It was a good performance, although I’m a little disappointed with the way I got out, I wanted to carry on for a while longer. We knew that if we won this game, we would win this series. It was important for the important members of the side to step up today,” concluded Rohit Sharma.
The teams will now move to Wellington to play the 4th T20I on 31st January before the 5th and final one at Mount Maunganui on 2nd February.