Rohit Sharma on Tuesday raced to his 26th ODI hundred to become the first batsman to hit four centuries in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as India got off to a strong start against Bangladesh in their penultimate group match at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Rohit reached the hundred with a single off the last ball of the 29th over, bowled by Shakib Al Hasan. He took 90 balls to reach the landmark, with the help of seven fours and five sixes. But he departed soon after, for 104 off 92 balls.
In the process, the 32-year-old equaled Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara's (2015) all-time record of hitting four centuries in a single edition of World Cup.
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It also meant that Rohit now has the best* hundreds per innings in the World Cup - five in 15 – better than the three batsmen who have five or more tons – Sachin Tendulkar - 6/44, Ricky Ponting - 5/42 and Sangakkara - 5/35.
Rohit, popularly known as the Hitman for his audacious stroke-making abilities, opened the batting with KL Rahul after Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat first. Rohit and Rahul stitched a tournament-high opening stand of 180. The previous high was 160 by England openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow against India at the same venue. This is also India's highest opening partnership in World Cup, beating 174 by Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan against Ireland at Hamilton in 2015.
The right-handed batsman overtook Australian opener David Warner as the leading scorer of the tournament. Rohit now has 544 runs in seven innings as against Warner's 516 from eight innings.
Besides, Rohit became only the second Indian batsman after Tendulkar to score 500+ runs in a World Cup. Tendulkar scored 673 in 2003 and 523 in 1996.
Rohit also overtook MS Dhoni as India's most prolific six-hitter in ODIs. He now has 230 maximums, as against Dhoni's 228. But the all-time record still belongs to Pakistan's Shahid Afridi (351). Other batsmen ahead of Rohit in the list are West Indies' Chris Gayle (326) and Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya (270).
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