It doesn’t happen often, but Rohit Sharma has retained the Cricket World Player of the Week award that he won last week for his 209 in the deciding ODI against Australia courtesy of the 177 that he hit for India in their comprehensive Test win over the West Indies.
At 83 for five in their first innings, India were in danger of not capitalising on the good work done by their bowlers in bowling out the visitors for just 234 as Shane Shillingford struck on his way to figures of six for 167. However, Sharma, on Test debut let us not forget, added a humongous 280 with R Ashwin for the seventh-wicket to follow on from the 73 that he had already shared with his captain MS Dhoni to begin the recovery.
He was finally dismissed for 177 off 301 balls, with Ashwin following shortly afterwards for 124, but by then India were well on the way to posting the 453 that would set them up for their innings victory. Their other debutant, Mohammad Shami, also starred in the first match of a series that is supposed to be all about the retiring legend that is Sachin Tendulkar. He ended with match figures of nine for 118.
All in all, it was pretty good week for players at the start of their international careers. Colin Munro and Anton Devcich both hit half-centuries as New Zealand made up for their poor showing in the ODI series against Bangladesh by winning the Twenty20 International. Quinton de Kock, meanwhile, hit 112 to help South Africa secure the ODI series win with a game to spare over Pakistan. Imran Tahir had taken four for 53 the game before to help them take the series lead after Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy had hit half-centuries.
That fourth ODI also featured a strong performance from the more experienced Dale Steyn, who decimated the Pakistan batting line-up en route to career-best figures of five for 25.
And finally, staying with the theme of more experienced performers, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews all passed 50 during the rained-off ODI against New Zealand in Hambantota.
© Cricket World 2013