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HomeSportsCricketIndia vs Afghanistan: Vintage Rohit, Braveheart Rinku, and Gutsy Gulbadin, Sundar star...

India vs Afghanistan: Vintage Rohit, Braveheart Rinku, and Gutsy Gulbadin, Sundar star in a thriller; Records, Opinions

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Afghanistan’s tour of India ended on a fairly positive note for Afghanistan on Wednesday, Jan 17, ’24 when they tied the mammoth score of 212 runs. It was a night of hard-hitting batters and we saw almost all the bowlers going out of the park. The question was who gets hit less? Perhaps, that created the difference in the end.

After winning the toss India opted to bat which looked like a good decision initially considering the small ground and batting wicket but things did not start well for India as they were reduced to 22 runs at the loss of 4 wickets in 4.3 Overs only leaving behind Rohit Sharma still struggling in the middle and joined by young Rinku Singh with what seemed like a last recognised batting pair. Rohit and Rinku started building and putting together the innings again as any score lesser than 160 would have not been sufficient on the wicket. Qais Ahmad, an impressive leg spinner, tested the skills of Rohit Sharma on his very first ball which turned sharply leaving Rohit perplexed. Rohit tried to play a pre-meditated reverse sweep on the next couple of deliveries from Qais Ahmad but it looked as ugly as the scoreboard itself. Rohit and Rinku both pounced on the youngster Saleem Safi and the first over from Saleem provided the much-needed momentum for India.

Rohit and Rinku forged a partnership of 190 runs for the fifth wicket where Vintage Rohit destroyed Afghanistan’s bowler and ended up scoring his 5th T20I century ( 121 N.O in 69 bowls with 11 Fours and 8 Sixes) after 5 long years. Braveheart Rinku proved why he is backed by the management so much to emerge as a finisher in the format. India posted a comfortable 212/4 by the end of 20 Overs.

But as destiny had it, Afghanistan started their innings slowly but steadily as they knew if they kept their wickets they would eventually chase down the score given the number of hard-hitters they had down the order. Gurbaz and Zadran forged a partnership of 93 runs before losing their first wicket and what was about to come next was absolute carnage for the Indian bowlers. Gulbadin Naib and Mohammad Nabi began to send all the bowls out of the park but as mentioned earlier the big difference was which bowler got hit less. There was a gutsy off-spinner Washington Sundar who with his knack for picking wickets broke the partnership which eventually put some brakes on the scoring. Nevertheless, Gulbadin Naib was in no mood to leave any stone unturned and he eventually helped his side to tie the match with India. The match went in to the super over.

The first super over was again tied with Afghanistan giving a target of 17 runs to India where they lost Naib in a run out. Rohit and Yashasvi started the India innings and as it was the night of the Indian captain, Rohit hit 2 sixes leaving 2 to get from 1 ball. Then came a master stroke by Rohit Sharma who took himself out of the ground and retired hurt allowing young and fast Rinku Singh to take his place just to allow that swiftness in running for a couple if at all Yashasvi could hit it to a fair distance. But, eventually Yashasvi and Rinku could manage only 1 run which meant the first Super over was tied too.

The second super over saw Rohit and Rinku come out to bat leaving Afghanistan players and audiences looking for rulebooks and answers about whether Rohit Sharma could have batted in the second super over or not. The umpires clarified that he remained retired hurt and not retired out in the first super over which meant he could bat. Rohit Sharma continued the intent and smashed the first 2 deliveries for a six and four respectively and India posted 11 runs on the board. With another master stroke from Rohit Sharma in the night, Ravi Bishnoi came to bowl the over for India and he took 2 wickets in 3 balls and finished the match there itself. India won the match eventually.

On the night of batting supremacy, Rohit Sharma made and broke many records as a batter and the captain. Here it is:

  • 5 hundreds by Rohit Sharma are the most by a player in T20 Internationals. Rohit has now gone ahead of both Suryakumar Yadav and Glenn Maxwell
  • 121* by Rohit is the fourth-highest individual score for India in T20Is and his highest in 413 innings in the T20 format.
  • 190* The stand of unbeaten 190 by Rohit and Rinku Singh for the fifth wicket is the highest ever partnership for India for any wicket in T20Is surpassing 176 between Sanju Samson and Deepak Hooda against Ireland in Malahide in 2022.
  • 103 runs hit by India in the last five overs is the most in the death overs (16-20) in a T20I between two Full Member nations surpassing 90 runs scored by South Africa against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom in 2017.
  • 66 runs hit by Rohit is the second most by a batter in this phase behind 70 by David Miller in the above game in Potchefstroom.
  • 36 runs smashed off the 20th over by Karim Janat is the joint most hit off an over in T20 Internationals. Rohit and Rinku equalled the record of 36 each by Yuvraj Singh off Stuart Broad in Durban in 2007 and Kieron Pollard off Akila Dananjaya in Coolidge in 2021, both of which included six maximums.
  • 212/4 by India the highest total posted in a T20I after being four down for 25 or less, 22/4 in this case. The previous highest was 188 by the USA – from 16/4 – against Ireland in Lauderhill in 2021.
  • 42 matches won by India out of 54 T20Is under Rohit’s captaincy (including Super Over wins) – the joint second most by any captain in the format, only behind Eoin Morgan’s 44 wins in 72 games.
  • Rohit now has 1648 runs as skipper eclipsing Kohli’s previous Indian record of 1570 runs.
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