India got their Champions Trophy campaign off to a perfect start with a 124-run win over Pakistan. India posted a strong total of 319, thanks to their top order especially Rohit Sharma, who scored 91. After his innings, Rohit's preparations for the highly-anticipated game were revealed.
Comebacks are never easy even for a player like Rohit Sharma, especially where you are playing against your arch-rivals in an ICC event. Though Rohit showed his class successfully leading Mumbai Indians to the title in the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, that was a 20 over format, which is very different from an ODI game. Rohit played his last one-day game for India in October 2016, after which the Indian opener was sidelined from mainstream competition for almost 7 months. But he rediscovered his touch in his comeback game against Pakistan on Sunday.
Ahead of the big face-off, the Indian batsman spent a lot of time practising with batting coach Sanjay Bangar, as reported by NDTV. They both worked for long hours to perfect Rohit's technique. After a dozen throw downs, Bangar asked Rohit to stand up straighter by opening up his stance a touch, so that his body weight was right over his front foot. He batted in the nets longer than any other player.
And the effort paid off in the match where he scored 91 runs before being run-out by Babar Azam. He produced a 136 run opening partnership with Shikhar Dhawan which laid the foundation for an Indian victory. Moreover, this was the same venue and the same event where the two had come together as opening partners in 2013. With their help, India posted a formidable total of 319 for three in 48 overs on Sunday.
Previously, there was some doubt over whether Rohit had the technique and temperament to open the batting in England. Rohit refocuses on taking his career to the newer heights. India will be hoping Rohit retains his hunger for big runs over the next few years.
Finally, while there had been some doubts over Rohit's technique and temperament to open the batting in England, he has certainly answered them in the best possible way. And now, India will be hoping Rohit maintains his on-going form for some time to come.
Did you know, Rohit Sharma is the only player in the world to score two double hundreds in ODIs.
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India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.