IND vs WI: Rohit Sharma joins an elite club with Sunil Gavaskar of facing the first ball as opener for Team India

Rohit also top-scored for India in the opening T20I in Ahmedabad

Rohit Sharma, on Sunday, February 6, took charge as Team India’s full-time ODI skipper after taking over from Virat Kohli. He wasn’t a part of the 50-over games in South Africa, where the Men in Blue lost 0-3 under KL Rahul’s leadership. The 34-year-old missed the games due to a hamstring injury that he sustained prior to the Test series against New Zealand.

He had a memorable outing on Sunday as India defeated West Indies by six wickets in the first game of the three-match ODI series at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. During this while, the Nagpur-born cricketer also made a unique record. He became the second Indian player to open the batting for India as many as 200 times.

Rohit has faced the first ball of an innings on 200 instances while opening the batting for the national team. The legendary Sunil Gavaskar, also the first man to score 10,000 Test runs, tops the list with 238 times. Gautam Gambhir, Sourav Ganguly and the swashbuckling Virender Sehwag have opened 180, 161 and 144 times respectively.

Rohit Sharma, playing a handy knock

India weren’t posed with a whole lot of challenges during the first game of the series. After electing to field first, they bowled the Caribbean team out for 176 in 43.5 overs. Yuzvendra Chahal, who got the Player of the Match award, picked up four wickets for just 49 runs.

Washington Sundar got three scalps while fast bowler Prasidh Krishna picked up two wickets. Mohammed Siraj got the prized wicket of Shai Hope in the third over of the game. Thereafter, Rohit top-scored for India with the bat and took his team over the finish line.

The veteran made 60 runs off 51 balls with 10 fours and one six and helped India chase down the target in 28 overs. But despite winning with 22 overs to spare, Sharma said that Team India needs to show improvement in certain departments to get better.

“I don’t believe in a perfect game. You cannot be perfect. We want to keep getting better. All in all a great effort from everyone. We ticked all boxes. Pretty happy with that. With that bat we could’ve finished with not so many wickets, that is one,” Rohit said after the match.

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