Rohit Sharma could become the leading six-hitter in ODIs during the Hamilton game against New Zealand. (Image credit: BCCI Twitter)
The Hamilton ODI will be special for Rohit Sharma. He will take over the captaincy of the Indian cricket team as Virat Kohli is being rested for the remaining two ODIs and also for the three Twenty20 Internationals. The Mumbai right-hander is all set to become the 14th Indian player to play 200 ODIs, putting him in a special list of players. Sachin Tendulkar leads the tally with 463 ODIs, followed by Rahul Dravid with 340. MS Dhoni can also go past Mohammad Azharuddin’s record of 334 ODIs if he is selected for the Hamilton ODI, having missed the third ODI in Mount Maunganui due to a hamstring injury.
Rohit will captain India for the ninth time in ODIs and he has a fabulous record as captain. In eight ODIs prior to Hamilton, he has scored 534 runs in eight games at an average of 106 and a strike-rate of 102. His highest was 208* which he achieved in Mohali against Sri Lanka. It was a record as he became the first individual to hit three double centuries in ODIs. He also has a fabulous record as captain, winning seven out of the eight games with his only loss coming in the Dharamsala ODI against Sri Lanka in 2017.
The Hamilton ODI also represents Rohit a chance to become a six-hitting giant of Indian cricket. The right-hander has currently blasted 215 sixes, level with MS Dhoni. Although Dhoni has hit seven more sixes for Asia XI, Rohit has the chance to become the leading six-hitter in ODIs. Dubbed the ‘Hitman’ for his ability to hit sixes at will, Rohit needs five more sixes to become the sixth batsmen to smash 350 sixes in international cricket.
Rohit recently smashed a record for the most sixes against a single opposition during the 2019 ODI series against Australia. Rohit took his tally of sixes against Australia to 66, which is the most by a batsman against a single opponent in ODI history, breaking the record of 63 set by Shahid Afridi of Pakistan against Sri Lanka.
With India already taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series against New Zealand, Rohit has a great chance to smash plenty of records.