Ro hits 264! Glory For Rohit Sharma As Opener Slams His Second ODI Double Century

Unlike a lot of others in Team India, Rohit Sharma keeps his on-field emotions largely in check. In fact, he sometimes looks disinterested and detached.

But the primeval roar he emitted on Thursday, while sinking to his knees and lifting his arms into the air, told a story. It was a release of emotion after three months of frustration, when he had to sit out of the Indian team due to injury.

It came after he cracked his mind-boggling second One-Day International double century.

Rohit brought it up off the third ball of the 46th over of the Indian innings. He leaned into a drive off Nuwan Kulasekara and the ball sped past Mahela Jayawardene to hit the electronic hoarding at the long-off boundary.

The enthralled Eden Gardens crowd just couldn’t stop cheering, and even the usually reserved journalists in the press box joined in the applause.

As I regained my composure, and as Rohit returned to the batting crease, my mind flashed back to February 24, 2010. Thursday was like an action replay on a much grander scale. That was the day when a little batsman from Mumbai had broken a 39-year-old barrier by becoming the first man to score a double century in ODI cricket. It was India versus South Africa in Gwalior and the batsman was one Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

For me, it was even more special because it was my first full match as a journalist. As luck would have it, my first international assignment — an India-Australia ODI — had been washed out without the toss, and my second match — between India and Sri Lanka — had been abandoned due to an unplayable pitch at the Ferozeshah Kotla in the Capital. Fellow scribes had already termed me as inauspicious. So, when it happened, Tendulkar not only made a giant leap for batsmen around the world, but also broke my jinx.

That South African attack had quality bowlers in the form of Dale Steyn, Jacques Kallis and Charles Langeveldt, among others, and even though the ground was the smaller, nondescript Captain Roop Singh Stadium, the achievement was inconceivable.

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