Now that we have had more than a day to catch our breath, how A-awesome was India’s chase of 360 in Jaipur, the other day. If you thought chasing 360 was insane, consider this – the chase was completed with about 40 balls still remaining. You say you till not impressed? They only lost 1, yes ONE, wicket. Now you understand the insanity and mayhem that India wreaked? What really happened, you ask? Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli collectively decided to go about painting the Pink City of Jaipur an absolute scary Red. You can catch some of the action in the clip below:
These three youngsters, the future of Indian Cricket, went about this herculean task in their own paths and with every step they took, the team galloped towards the target. There was no galloping as Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan began the proceedings. In the very first over, no runs were scored off the bat. As things moved on, it was a completely different story. Rohit held the anchor and Dhawan, as he has been doing since THAT debut knock in Mohali, played the aggressor. I had predicted a 5-2 win for India in this ODI series and I was more than worried at the half-way point in the match. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma and that super-exciting player called Virat Kohli allayed my fears in style!
Rohit started out uncertainly, but with every passing delivery that he faced, he kept getting more assured and by midway point in the Indian innings one could sense an epic knock from the blade of Little Master version 3. Dhawa, in the meantime held the game by the scruff of its neck with some majestic and regal stroke-making. His walking down the track to Shane Watson was breath-taking for its boldness and when Johnson pitched short, Dhawan was nimble enough to rock back and play the pull shots to perfection. Dhawan’s spectacular knock was cut 5 short of a well-deserving century when he edged behind of a Faulkner delivery.
You cannot blame the Australians for thinking they had a path to get back to the winner’s circle at that moment. What followed though was something one would find very tough to describe without getting a X-rating for the article. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma mercilessly pounded the hapless Aussie bowlers into submission. In the 18 overs that followed Dhawan’s dismissal the deadly duo amassed more than 180 runs with some of the most audacious stroke-making you will see in a Cricket stadium. If the bowler pitched the ball up, the ball was smashed down the ground, if it was dropped short, it was cut or pull.
They did all this with the ruthlessness of a tiger stalking and hunting down its prey. The Aussies, never one to ask for mercy were shown none as Virat and Rohit tore into the Australian attack. Watching them was as pleasurable as overtaking a cop-car and getting away without being slapped by a ticket. [Not that I would know much about it!]. Rohit and Virat did a lot of slapping and if I may, a lot of spanking too! In the process Virat and Rohit raked in a lot of records, the most prominent being Virat Kohli achieving the fastest 100 in an ODI by an Indian. Smart money says, Virat Kohli will most likely break this record, maybe even multiple times before he hangs up that rapier like bat of his. Well played India and wonderful performance from the top order of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma [who I see as the next captain of India] and Virat Kohli.
I apologise to my Australian friends and fans of Australian cricket for not dwelling much on the wonderful 1st innings display from the Aussies top 5 – a first for Cricket when all 5 achieved their 50s. George Bailey and Glen Maxwell batted in a manner that would make even the Australian Invincibles of 2003 feel proud. Bailey in particular lit up the Pink City of Jaipur. Little did he know that the Indian top order would soon pain this beautiful Pink City a gory and savage shade of Red within a few hours. Tough Luck Australia. Onwards and Upwards for the men in Yellow!
I leave you with something to ponder and waste away your weekend. Virat Kohli is going turn 25 in about 20 days. He has 16 ODI centuries to his credit. Anyone out there who thinks this guy will not overtake Sachin Tendulkar aka Mr. INDulkar’s 49 ODI hundreds? While you are at it, google Izabelle Leite. You are welcome, fellow cricket maniacs and ahem, Ornithologists! As a thank you, you can like us on FB and/or Twitter. 🙂
Enjoy Cricket, Life and Cosmos folks.