Are you a cricket fan? Do you remember where you were on November 13, 2014? That was the day when Rohit Sharma did the unthinkable! He scored 264 runs in a single ODI innings, shattering the previous world record of 219 by Virender Sehwag.
He became the first and only batsman to score two and later three double-centuries in the 50-over format. He hit 33 fours and nine sixes, which is more than any other player in an ODI innings. Faced 173 balls, the most by any batsman in an ODI innings! He scored 186 runs in boundaries alone, the most by any batsman in an ODI innings! He scored more runs than the entire Sri Lankan team, who managed only 251 in reply.
He scored more runs than any other player in any format of international cricket except for Brian Lara’s 400 in Tests. He scored more runs than any other player in any domestic or international match except for Lara’s 501 in first-class cricket. It was a masterclass of batting, a display of skill, power, timing, endurance & grace. It was a once-in-a-lifetime performance! A feat that may never be repeated!
How did he go from being dropped on 4 to scoring more than a quarter of a thousand runs? How did he overcome the pressure, the fatigue, the expectations & the opposition? How did he make history on that fateful day at Eden Gardens? Let’s rewind and relive the epic innings that broke all records and stunned the cricket world!
Rohit Sharma had been out of action for nearly three months due to a finger injury. He had missed the England tour and the Champions League T20. He had returned to the Indian team for the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka but had failed to impress in the first three matches. He had scored only 4, 0, and 9 and was under pressure to retain his place in the team.
The fourth ODI was played at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, a venue where Rohit had fond memories. He had made his Test debut at the same ground a year ago and had scored a century. He had also scored a match-winning 177 in the Ranji Trophy final for Mumbai against Tamil Nadu earlier that year. He was hoping to replicate his form at his lucky ground.
Toss & Start
India won the toss and elected to bat first. The pitch looked flat and good for batting. The weather was sunny and pleasant. The conditions were ideal for a high-scoring game. In the fifth over, Rohit got a lifeline that changed the course of the match.
He slashed hard at a short and wide delivery from Prasad and edged it towards third man. It was a simple catch for Thisara Perera, who was stationed near the boundary. But Perera made a mess of it and dropped Rohit on 4. It was a costly mistake that would haunt Sri Lanka for the rest of the day.
Acceleration & Partnership
After the drop, Rohit slowly started to gain confidence and momentum. He hit his first boundary in the eighth over with a crisp drive-through cover off Mathews. He hit another four in the same over with a flick off his pads. He then hit two consecutive fours off Gamage in the ninth over with a cut and a pull.
Reached his 50 off 72 balls with a single off Seekkuge Prasanna in the 22nd over. He celebrated his milestone with a six-over long-on off Prasanna in the next over. He then hit another six off Ajantha Mendis in the 24th over with a slog sweep.
Rohit was now looking comfortable and confident at the crease. He was playing with ease and flair, hitting boundaries at will. He was also rotating the strike well with his partner, Virat Kohli, who had joined him after Rahane’s dismissal for 28.
Rohit and Kohli added 202 runs for the second wicket in 25.3 overs. That was not only the highest partnership for any wicket in ODIs between India and Sri Lanka, but it was also the highest partnership for the 2nd wicket in ODIs at Eden Gardens. This duo was on a different level!
The duo complemented each other perfectly. Rohit was the aggressor, while Kohli was the anchor. Rohit was hitting the big shots, while Kohli was taking the singles and doubles.
They were also running well between the wickets, converting ones into twos and twos into threes. They were putting pressure on the Sri Lankan fielders, who were wilting under the heat and the onslaught.
The pair took India to 236 for 1 in 38 overs. Rohit was on 124 off 114 balls, while Kohli was on 66 off 61 balls. They had set the platform for a big total.
After reaching his hundred, Rohit shifted gears and unleashed a barrage of boundaries. He hit 4 fours and a six off Prasanna in the 40th over, taking 22 runs off it, hit 2 fours and a six off Mendis in the 42nd over, taking 16 runs off it, and hit 3 fours and a six off Prasad in the 44th over, taking 20 runs off it.
Reaching his 150 off 125 balls with a single off Mathews in the 45th over. He then hit two sixes off Mathews in the same over, taking 17 runs off it. He hit two fours and a six off Gamage in the 46th over, taking 18 runs off it.
He reached his 200 off 151 balls with a single off Prasad in the 48th over. He became the first batsman to score 2 double-hundreds in ODIs, surpassing his own record of 209 against Australia in Bangalore in 2013.
Then Rohit went berserk and hit four sixes and a four off Prasad in the same over, taking 30 runs off it. It was the most expensive over in ODIs, equalling Herschelle Gibbs’ feat against the Netherlands in the 2007 World Cup.
Reached his 250 off 166 balls with a single off Gamage in the final over. He then hit two fours and a six off Gamage in the same over, taking 16 runs off it.
He finished on 264 off 173 balls, breaking Sehwag’s record of 219 against West Indies in Indore in 2011. He hit 33 fours and nine sixes, breaking Shane Watson’s record of 15 fours and nine sixes.
Rohit Sharma walked off to a standing ovation from the crowd and his teammates. He had just played one of the greatest innings of all time!
India posted a mammoth total of 404 for 5 in their allotted 50 overs. Sri Lanka were never in the chase and were bowled out for 251 in 43.1 overs. India won by a massive margin of 153 runs and sealed the series with a game to spare.
He was adjudged the man of the match for his record-breaking knock. He received praise from all quarters for his incredible feat. He had etched his name in history books and had earned a place among the legends of the game.
Among his other achievements, Rohit Sharma’s 264 is still the highest individual score in ODIs. It is also one of the most memorable innings ever played. It is an inning that will be remembered for generations to come.