November 2, 2013-- It was the start of something big. It was the beginning of an unpreceedented feat in the history of the sport. Seven years ago, India's limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma became the third batsman to reach the magical 200-run mark in One-day Internationals.
Joining the elite list comprising Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, Rohit breezed to his first ODI double century against a dominant Australian side. Not only did Rohit achieve this phenomenal feat, but he also sealed the series victory for India. Since making his debut in the national side, the Hitman needed just one big innings to justify the 'gifted talent' tag slapped on him.
Along with hitting his maiden ODI double hundred, Rohit cemented his place in the national side. However, it was not the end of the road for the Mumbai stalwart. Little did anyone know that Rohit will go on to smash three awe-inspiring tons in the format. The Hitman's affair with ODI double centuries started through this very game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The Bangalore crowd had already witnessed several enthralling batting shows but this was something special. It's always a pleasure to watch in-form Rohit smoking boundaries for fun and finding gaps like a hot knife through butter. Combining his lazy elegance and technique, Rohit slammed 12 boundaries and 16 sixes against a hapless Australian bowling force.
Rohit's colossal batting show steered India to a dominant 383-run total with ease. In response, James Faulkner's century did raise Australia's hopes but it wasn't enough to steer them past the finishing line. Rohit bagged the Player of the Match as India pocketed the encounter by 57 runs and also clinched the seven-match series 3-2.
I didn't really think of the 200 initially: Rohit
The right-hander went on to score two more against Sri Lanka, and his unbeaten 264 at Kolkata in 2014 remains the highest score in the ODI format. He scored his third double hundred (208*) against the islanders at Mohali in 2017.
“I didn't really think of the 200 initially. Right from ball one I wanted to stay there. It was a small ground with a fast outfield, we knew it was going to be a big-scoring game keeping the wickets in hand. We always spoke about building small partnerships and we had two big ones today. It's been our strength throughout the series so it was heartening to see that. You never know, even 380 wasn't looking comfortable,” said an elated Rohit after bagging the Man of the Series as well.
Rohit's record of smashing 16 sixes in an ODI inning remained a record until Eoin Morgan broke it by smashing 17 against Afghanistan during the 2019 World Cup. Nonetheless, Firsts are always special and Rohit's brilliant knock was rather a resurgence of his journey with the national side. 2013 was a special year for Rohit as he also led Mumbai Indians (MI) to their maiden IPL title.
What followed was Rohit donning the opener's role in the Champions Trophy and the rest is history. Regarded as a world-class player, Rohit has donned the Indian jersey in 224 ODIs, 108 T20Is, and 32 Tests so far, where he has gathered 14,029 runs across all three formats.