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Friday, December 22, 2017

Ro'hit' ~ Holkar carnage

In mid  2013, I had posted   - ‘It would ever remain a mystery as to how he played against England at home after scoring – 5,0,0,4,4 at Srilanka and 4 against Pak at Chennai.. 17 in 6 innings and still he got a chance’. Today, I would have no qualms in taking back those words ~ he is very special and belongs to a different genre; he does not bludgeon but caresses – sending balls soaring with silken touch ! – no prize for guessing, this star.

In 2nd T20 today, Sri Lanka captain Thisara Perera won yet another toss, and elected to bowl in the second T20I against India in Indore. Thisara said he felt the short boundaries at the Holkar Stadium would lend better to a chase.  KL Rahul was out caught brilliantly by keeper Dickwella off  Pradeep for 89 made of just 49 balls with 8 sixers and a strike rate of 181.63; yet he will not the MoM and not much would be talked about him .. ..

Holkar Cricket Stadium is in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. It was earlier known as Maharani Usharaje Trust Cricket Ground. Virender Sehwag hit 219 in a ODI here. 

The Holkar dynasty was a Hindu Maratha royal house in India. The Holkars ruled as Maratha Rajas, and later as Maharajas of Indore in Central India as an independent member of the Maratha Empire until 1818. Later, their kingdom became a princely state under the protectorate of British India. The dynasty was founded by  Malhar Rao, who joined the service of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire in 1721 – the head was known as Holkar Maharaja.  The Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1818) was the final and decisive conflict between the British East India Company (EIC) and the Hindu Maratha Empire in India. The war left the Company in control of most of India. It began with an invasion of the Hindu Maratha territory by British East India Company troops, the largest such British controlled force massed in India. The troops were led by the Governor General Hastings  supported by a force under General Thomas Hislop.  The Peshwa was eventually captured and placed on a small estate at Bithur, near Kanpur.

Today it was a different kind of massacre at Holkar as India amassed 260 in 20 overs.  There were to be 21 fours and equivalent no. of sixers from the Indian side. Rohit Sharma has been in phenomenal form, ever since making a comeback to the team from injury during the Champions Trophy. In his first series as India captain, however, he has reached a different level as a batsman, scoring runs at an unimaginary pace, even by his own standards.

In the second T20I against the Lankans at Indore, Sharma was in his elements, smashing the fastest century ever by an Indian in T20Is and the joint-fastest ever with David Miller. A 43-ball 118 was laden with 10 maximums, one of which flew for 104 metres. He completed his century in 35 balls, striking the ball as cleanly as he ever has, hitting the ball with disdain against the spinners. Rohit saved his best against Thisara Perera, smacking the medium pacer for four sixes in as many balls in remarkable fashion.

His 35 equalled David Miller's record - against Bangladesh in October 2017. The previous fastest T20I century among India batsmen was 46 balls by KL Rahul, against West Indies in Lauderhill last year. Rohit Sharma scored his eighth International century in 2017, the second most by any batsman. Only Virat Kohli has more centuries (11) than Rohit this year.

Srilanka is fighting back

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd Dec 2017.

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