Ind-Pak clash: Rohit rises to challenge, hits 34-ball 50

Dubai: India's Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma during the third match of Asia Cup 2018 Super Four between India and Pakistan at Dubai International Cricket Stadium in UAE on Sept 23, 2018. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

On the big stage, against Pakistan, India’s vice captain Rohit Sharma raised a fluent 34-ball 50 to give the team a brisk start here on Sunday.

Rohit, opening the batting for the first time with K.L. Rahul in the absence of injured Shikhar Dhawan, smashed six fours and two huge sixes en route his 43rd ODI fifty.

The 32-year old was lucky to survive a run out chance in the 11th over when a hesitation between him and Rahul saw Rohit way out of his crease, but Shadab Khan did superbly well to pick up the ball one-hand but got the direction of the throw wrong.

In the next over, Rohit rubbed salt into his wound by tonking the spinner for a four and a six off consecutive deliveries to bring up his half century.

Rohit has been in sublime form throughout the World Cup. He joined an elite list of cricketers, becoming only the fourth player to aggregate 2,000 runs in One-Day Internationals against Australia in India’s last game after their tie against New Zealand was washed off.

Rohit, along with Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Viv Richards and Desmond Haynes complete the list.

The Mumbai batsman notched up the mark in his 37th innings against Australia — the fastest to do so, and did so in style with a square drive to Glenn Maxwell for a four.

Tendulkar took 51 innings to reach the milestone while Haynes and Richards took 59 and 45 innings respectively.