That fateful day perhaps manifested the abject poverty of bowling talent in Sri Lanka, something which has become even more glaring, three years on. Rohit was a man possessed that night, hitting the cricket ball with monstrous power and often with the disdain that you see in a commander in a battle, who is out there to prove a point to his enemies.
By the end of that night, Rohit was unbeaten on 264 runs, a world record which will take a colossal effort to beat, or perhaps will never be beaten. But the same Rohit Sharma has been found wanting against the same team when playing on Sri Lankan soil.
Yes, Rohit Sharma's record in one-day internationals in Sri Lanka sticks out like a sore thumb. Despite the ODI phenomenon that he has become, Rohit averages a paltry 14.25 in ODIs in the emerald isles. His unlucky run out in the first ODI on Sunday means he has now failed to cross the 5-run mark against Sri Lanka in any of his last 7 ODIs in Sri Lanka. His scores read: 4,4,4,0,0,5,5.
His average of 14.25 in ODIs in Sri Lanka is his lowest in any country where he has played more than 10 ODIs. The Indian opener has managed only one 50+ score in Lanka and has never managed less than 3 in any other country where he has played more than 10 ODIs.
The root cause of concern in Sri Lanka has been his inability to deal with the pace attack. Out of his 15 dismissals there, 13 have come against pace bowlers, which clearly shows that he is sent back to the pavillion even before he could settle down.
Hence, the target for Rohit Sharma on Thursday, when India take on Sri Lanka in the second ODI of the series, will be to try and spend time on the wicket, bat out the first 10 overs withcaution while the in form Shikhar Dhawan could take the attack to the opposition bowlers and correct his number on the island once and for all.
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First Published: August 24, 2017, 8:42 AM IST