Rohit Sharma has grown into one of the most fearsome openers the game has ever seen. His mere presence at the crease terrifies the opposition bowling attack, especially in white-ball cricket. He has managed to score a number of hundreds at the top of the order for India.
While Rohit Sharma is known for scoring his runs quickly, there were times when he had to get his eye in and build an innings. There were times when he couldn’t blast away right from the word go. Here we have a look at five of Rohit Sharma’s slowest ODI centuries.
1. 128 balls vs SA (5th June 2019)
Rohit Sharma’s slowest hundred came in India’s first game of the 2019 World Cup against South Africa. Chasing a modest target of 228, Indians needed a good start with the bat from their openers. However, they lost two quick wickets in the form of Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli.
Rohit Sharma then had to consolidate the Indian innings alongside KL Rahul and the duo had a crucial partnership of 84 runs. Once Rohit Sharma was set, he began to find the boundaries regularly and took his team closer to the total. He remained unbeaten on 122 as India chased down the target with 6 wickets in hand.
2. 122 balls vs AUS (12th Jan 2016)
India played Australia in the first ODI of the five-match ODI series at Perth. Batting first, India lost Shikhar Dhawan early. Again, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli had to make sure there was no further damage and the duo stabilized the Indian innings.
Once they were set, both of them began to boss the Australian bowlers and scored boundaries at regular intervals.
After bringing up his century of 122 balls, Rohit shifted gears and ended up remaining not out on 171 off just 163 balls. Although India lost that game, Rohit Sharma’s 171* still remains the highest score by an Indian in ODIs in Australia.
3. 118 balls vs SL (27th Aug 2017)
India were playing Sri Lanka in the third ODI of the ODI series in 2017. India needed 218 runs to win and knew that a good start from their openers would set up the game for them nicely. However, India were in trouble at 61-4 and the Sri Lankan bowlers sensed a chance to capitalize on the game.
However, Rohit Sharma was joined by MS Dhoni at the crease and the duo steadied the Indian ship again. Rohit took his time and knew that he had to remain unbeaten in the end to see his team home. Rohit Sharma scored 125 runs off 142 balls including 16 fours and 2 sixes and added an unbeaten 157 runs for the fifth wicket that saw the Indian team home comfortably.
4. 115 balls vs SL (13th Dec 2017)
Rohit Sharma was captaining the Indian team in the absence of Virat Kohli against Sri Lanka at home. Having lost the first ODI, the Indians needed to win the second ODI to remain alive in the series. India batted first, and we’re on their way to score a huge total as Rohit Sharma scored a fine century of 115 balls.
He went absolutely berserk as he scored his next hundred runs off just 38 balls, bringing about his third double hundred in ODIs. India posted a mammoth 392-4 out of which Rohit Sharma had scored 208 including 13 fours and 12 sixes. Sri Lanka couldn’t really recover and lost the game by 141 runs.
5. 114 balls vs ZIM (28th May 2010)
India toured Zimbabwe under the captaincy of Suresh Raina for a triangular series and in the first game, India batted first. Rohit Sharma batted at No. 4 in that game and was not a regular opener for India at that point. He added 132 runs for the fifth wicket alongside Ravindra Jadeja and India posted 285-4 on the back of Rohit Sharma’s brilliant hundred.
Although India lost that game, Rohit Sharma proved he had the ability to score big runs for his team under immense pressure.