New Zealand needed 2 runs off 2 balls to win the 3rd T20I vs India in Hamilton on Wednesday. Put under pressure by Mohammed Shami, they somehow managed to fluff the chase ending up with the same total that India had posted. Next, when India were under the pump requiring 10 off 2 balls to win in the Super Over, Rohit Sharma hit back-to-back sixes to seal the series victory for the tourists.
While Super Over statistics don’t count in players’ career numbers, Rohit Sharma had already completed 10,000 runs as an opener in international cricket (Tests/ODIs/T20Is) during his 65 off 40 balls earlier in the match. In doing so, Rohit became only the 4th Indian to achieve the milestone, joining the likes of Virender Sehwag (16,119), Sachin Tendulkar (15,335) and Sunil Gavaskar (12,258) in the elite list.
The overall list is topped by former Sri Lankan legend Sanath Jayasuriya who scored a mammoth 19,298 runs as an opener across formats. He is followed by Chris Gayle whose 18,834 runs as an opener make him a true legend of the game.
Though Rohit Sharma still has a long way to go before surpassing his India seniors on this particular list, the opener now holds a unique position in the pecking order. Of all the openers to have scored more than 10,000 runs in international matches, Rohit is currently the only one averaging above 50. Rohit’s batting average of 50.33 as an opener is way ahead of the 2nd best on this list – Sachin Tendulkar’s 48.07.