Numbers don't lie. There is something about Eden Gardens that brings out the best in Rohit Sharma.
Consider this : 177 in a Test against West Indies, 264 in an ODI against Sri Lanka, 98* in IPL, 50 in IPL, 98* in practice match, and now an 84* in IPL.
Call it his happy hunting ground, love affair or a karmic connection, but the dashing Mumbai batsman has always saved his best for the iconic Kolkata stadium.
His Test debut and his highest international scores in Tests and ODIs were both at this venue. Remember the record-smashing 264 against Sri Lanka and the 177 against West Indies ?
Eden Gardens was also the ground where he led his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians to their two IPL titles, in 2013 and 2015, in addition to several sterling performances in matches against Kolkata Knight Riders.
On Wednesday evening, Rohit was back at his favourite venue, smashing a stunning 84 off just 54 balls, in the fifth match of IPL 9, leading his team to a strong six-wicket win over KKR. The Man-of-the-Match showcased a flurry of stylish shots studded with 10 fours and two sixes and ensured he was there at the end to see his team through.
Here's a flashback to Rohit's other iconic Eden Gardens classics:
Odis: 264 vs Sri Lanka
On 13 November 2014, Rohit Sharma created history by smashing the highest individual ODI score of all time, with a breathtaking knock of 264. Courtesy Rohit's mayhem, India scored a mammoth 404 and thrashed Sri Lanka by 153 runs. In the process, Rohit became the only batsman to register two double centuries in ODIs and now holds the record for highest number of boundaries during his innings. The epic milestone was also on the 150th anniversary of the hallowed ground, which has seen many outstanding individual performances down the years.
Tests: 177 vs West Indies
Rohit Sharma waited for six years and 108 ODIs to make his Test debut, but it was worth the wait for him. He had a fairytale Test debut in the first Test of Sachin Tendulkar's farewell series in 2013, hitting a magnificent 177. He missed out on a debut double ton but his performance helped India beat West Indies by a massive innings and 51 runs at Eden Gardens. Unsurprisingly, he was the Man-of-the-Match.
IPL: 109* vs Kolkata Knight Riders
In another instance of his sheer dominance at Eden Gardens, Rohit Sharma's maiden IPL ton ended Kolkata Knight Riders' seven-match winning streak back in 2012. Sharma fired an unbeaten 109 in 59 balls, studded with 12 fours and five sixes to take Mumbai Indians to an imposing 182/1 after electing to bat first. He hammered the KKR bowlers all around the ground, reaching his fifty in 29 balls and his hundred in just 52 deliveries.
T20Is: 98* vs West Indies
Earlier this year, Rohit Sharma smashed a scintillating 98 not out at his favourite Eden Gardens as India scored a comprehensive 45-run win over the West Indies in their World T20 warm-up match. Continuing with his love-affair with the venue, Rohit plundered the Windies attack, hitting seven sixes and nine fours in his 57-ball unbeaten 98 to power India to 185 for six. Unfortunately though, India couldn't beat the Windies, just like they failed to do so at the Wankhede at the World T20 semi-finals a few weeks later.
With agency inputs