Indian openers breathed fire against West Indies in the second ODI at Visakhapatnam. KL Rahul began in a blazing fashion while Rohit Sharma was still finding his feet. The senior opener then overtook his partner and went on to celebrate his century first. Rahul followed him and brought up his third ODI century. Rohit broke a handful of records on his way to 159. India finished their first innings with 387/5 in 50 overs with Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer launching a late onslaught.
Also read: On this day: The grandest ODI career begins
Rahul sets the base
Batting with tremendous recent form, Rahul went after the West Indian bowlers in initial overs. Rohit was batting on 40 from 49 balls when Rahul completed his half-century in 46 balls. He later brought up his 3rd ODI century while playing a supportive role to Rohit. By the time Rahul went back for 102, India had piled up 227 runs in 37 overs. This is India’s fourth-highest opening partnership in ODIs.
Rohit breaks records
After receiving a lucky break from Shimron Heymyer on 70, Rohit did not look back. The Mumbai batsman celebrated his 28th ODI century which now draws him on par with Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya. Only Ricky Ponting (30), Virat Kohli (43) and Sachin Tendulkar (49) have scored more hundreds. The opener soon went on to notch his 8th 150-plus score in 50-over cricket which is again most by any batsman.
The century at Vizag was also Rohit’s 10th international hundred in 2019 as an opener. This is most by a batsman as he overtook Tendulkar’s tally of nine centuries as an opener in 1998. His score of 159 is the highest individual score for India this year. India’s ODI vice-captain has dominated this field for seven consecutive years. Five sixes in this innings also swelled Rohit’s six tally to 77 this year.
— CP (@CP26092852) December 18, 2019
Iyer and Pant continue the carnage
Rishabh Pant, under scrutiny for irresponsible batting, came out to bat with a lot of confidence. He smashed his fourth ball for a six and followed it with another one a ball later. The wicketkeeper then managed to plunder 24 runs from Sheldon Cottrell’s over. This charged Iyer as well who collected 28 runs from five balls bowled by Roston Chase. Iyer soon brought up his fourth consecutive ODI half-century. All four have come against West Indies.