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India v Sri Lanka 2nd ODI, 2017: Who Said What

Rohit Sharma picked the hundred that was closest to him.

Rohit Sharma six
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The day was all about Rohit Sharma, and that could be foreseen given he scored the third ODI double hundred of his career and absolutely ruled the Sri Lankan bowlers. Team India needed a win here to level the series or the Lankans would’ve created history to win their first-ever series in India against the hosts. But from the onset, he had a plan and executed it to perfection.

The other batsmen Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer batted around Rohit and while he plummeted the bowlers they also scored valuable half centuries. It was a crucial knock in particular for Iyer who was just playing the second game of his ODI career. The right-hander got to his double ton off just 151 balls having scored the hundred from 115 deliveries.

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India posted 392 runs on the board and it was always going to be difficult for Sri Lanka to chase unless someone or a couple of them collectively bettered or matched Rohit’s knock. They had a poor start as the Indian bowlers maintained tight lines and struck twice in the first 8 overs. The top order, as well as the middle order, failed to get going and though Angelo Mathews scored a hundred, the second of his ODI career they were fighting a lost battle.

Eventually, the visitors ran out of overs and concluded the match at 251/8 and conceded the game by 141 runs and the series stands square 1-1.

Indian skipper Rohit Sharma who was also the Man of the Match said:

“It was a great day. Winning the game was important for me and the team after that loss in Dharamsala. I can keep talking about the batting that we did today, right from the start, with Shikhar giving us a brilliant start, and Shreyas Iyer – it didn’t look like he was only playing his second ODI. There was dew later, so it was important to get that big total.

If I’m not wrong, the first 100 I got were around the 38th, 39th over, so I was telling myself, if I get that far, I’m not going to get out. I was only looking to keep my shape and hit through the line. It was the same thing I did in my first two 200s. I started off pretty slow then too.

Very difficult to pick one. All three came at crucial times. 264 is obviously very close to me. I’ve said it many times, but I honestly cannot pick one. The Australia one was a decider, the Sri Lanka 264 – I came back after a three-month layoff after a big injury, and this one also – after a humiliating loss, we wanted to come back as a team, as a batting unit especially.

I’m happy [my wife] is here with me on this special day. I know she would have liked this gift from me. She’s been my strength, she’s always been there for me. You go through so much stress in this sport, and having them around is always special. This is our second anniversary, but more than that, we won the game.

We were determined to do the right things in the middle, and right till the end we did that. As a group we’re looking forward to [Vizag]. The conditions will be different, and again we have to adapt and play to our strengths.

Not the ideal conditions for [Washington] to bowl, but this is how he will learn. He showed promise, and he has shown it before too, in the IPL. We want to back young players like Washington, we don’t want to put too much pressure on them. I’m sure he must have learned a lot from this game, bowling with the wet ball and so on, and I wish him all the luck.”

Sri Lankan skipper Thisara Perera said:

“Unfortunately our bowling didn’t click. Especially Rohit batted really well. That is cricket. We will take positives from this match and flush out the negatives. We had a Plan A and B and C as well – it didn’t click. That’s why I said Rohit batted really well.

If we want to chase this kind of score, we need a good start, and middle order as well. Both parts didn’t click, but Angelo did well in the batting part. We will come back well in the third ODI.”

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