On 13th November 2014, Rohit Sharma smashed an astonishing 264 against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens, the highest individual score in ODIs.
Rohit Sharma loves Kolkata. He captained the Mumbai Indians to their first IPL crown in 2013. Five months later, he made his Test debut against the West Indies in the Tendulkar-farewell series and scored his maiden century (177). He led his IPL outfit to the pinnacle again in 2015, this time scoring a match-winning half-century. He may have plenty more merry memories at the Eden Gardens in the coming years, but none of those may be able to topple his mind-boggling double-century against Sri Lanka in 2014.
The 27 year-old had returned to the ODI side after 10 weeks due to a finger injury, in the fourth ODI against Angelo Mathews’ side. He regained his opening spot replacing Shikhar Dhawan, and produced arguably the greatest comeback performance ever by a batsman. The ‘Sharmaji ka beta’ jokes/trolls/memes went into overdrive after this 173-ball knock.
After playing out the first few balls, Sharma charged down the wicket in the fifth over and edged a heave down to third-man. Thisara Perera dropped the catch, much to the dismay of Shaminda Eranga. The missed chance proved to be costly, as the opener went on to score his fifth ODI century in the 32nd over, his first after the fantastic double century at Bangalore a year before. But he was not done.
Rohit Sharma hit top gear after reaching the three-figure mark, capitalising on every scoring opportunity presented. Though the bowling was not impressive, Sharma’s stroke-play was at a different level on the day. Even gamers were put to shame the way he was playing around with the bowling. A cover drive off the 51st ball post his century took him where no ODI batsman had been before, becoming the first to score a double century twice. The next ball was a full-toss, and it was mistimed towards the square-leg boundary and Seekkuge Prasanna was well-positioned to take the catch. But the ball slipped through his fingers and went for four. A couple of fours and sixes later, he eclipsed Virender Sehwag as the highest individual scorer in ODIs.
Somewhere around this time MS Dhoni, who was not playing this series, went on to tweet this:
If Rohit doesn't get out he will certainly get 250 today
— Mahendra Singh Dhoni (@msdhoni) November 13, 2014
And Rohit Sharma ensured the prophecy came true, as he went on to score 264 runs. the second highest individual score in a List A match. His knock ended on the final ball of the innings as he was caught trying to clear the long-off boundary. The India team gave him a guard of honour as he walked back into the dressing room after the marathon knock, which included an incredible 33 fours and nine sixes!
India finished with 404 in their 50 overs, and never looked at any stage that the target would be threatened, as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 251. India extended their lead in the ODI series to 4-0, and Sharma took home the player of the match award.
4TH ODI: IND vs SL – Rohit Sharma 264