Rohit Sharma is in the news again. You could argue he has always been. A lot was talked about the Indian opening batsman and Virat Kohli’s deputy after successive single-digit scores in the first two T20Is against New Zealand. Rohit’s form – with scores of 7 & 8 – at a time when the youngsters like KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer were going bonkers was a matter of concern for the team management. But Rohit stood up again and just when India needed him the most on the cusp of scripting history in New Zealand. Rohit, opening the batting with KL Rahul, smashed a 23-ball half-century in the IND vs NZ 3rd T20I, the last 26 of which came in 5 deliveries from Hamish Bennett. New Zealand Vs India, Live Cricket Score 3rd T20I Match.
Lovingly called the Hitman – a term coined after he had smashed his first ODI double hundred – Rohit reminded everyone just he is called so. Rohit, under pressure after two mediocre scores, started his innings with a boundary in his only third delivery – a drive through the square. His second boundary came off an edge in the fourth over and another in the fifth. Rohit was batting on 24 from 18 deliveries with India comfortably poised on 42/0 after five overs. Then Hamish Bennett came to bowl. Watch Video Here.
Rohit Smashes Bennett For 26 Runs
— pa'1'😎 (@paone9999) January 29, 2020
Rohit is On Fire
6, 6, 4, 4,
20 in 4 balls against Bennett!
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) January 29, 2020
Bennett had already conceded 13 off his first over but only 1 six in that. Rohit hit him for three sixes and two boundaries in five deliveries taking 26 runs off the 32-year-old's second over and recording his 20th half-century. It came from 23 deliveries – Rohit’s third such in T20Is and still one ball behind his fastest T20I fifty against West Indies in 2016.
6,6,4 Hitman Hitting Them Out!
— Delivery Of Thoughts (@DotsByHari) January 29, 2020
The first delivery, a short one, from Bennett was smashed over backward square leg. The next came on a good length and Rohit drove it beyond the long-off boundary. After conceding sixes off successive boundaries, Bennett turned to shorter stuff and Rohit pulled and drove again for successive fours.
The final delivery – Rahul had taken a single off the first – was full outside the off-stump and Rohit managed to connect the toe end of his bat with shorter boundaries helping carry the ball over the ropes. India were on 69 having begun the over on 42, Rohit had reached his fifty off 23 after starting at 24 from 28. Bennett’s record read 2 overs, 40 runs, 0 wickets.
Bennett, however, returned to action with a double-wicket over in his very next. Bennett first removed Rohit for 65 runs before also dismissing Shivam Dube in his final delivery of his 3rd over to leave India tottering at 96/3 after a fiery start.