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Rohit Sharma in record-breaking spree, joins elite list

India Today logo India Today 15-01-2016

The previous top score by an India batsman at the Gabba was 91 by Sachin Tendulkar during the CB Series finals in 2008, the same year and the same tournament when Rohit Sharma made his mark in international cricket as a greenhorn.

Eight years later, Rohit was back in the same country - Australia - as one of the most dangerous batsmen in one-day cricket, breaking records with impunity. After a sensational 171 not out in the first ODI at the WACA two days back, Rohit smashed a classy 124 at the Gabba to give India a massive total.

But this has not been a journey without its share of hiccups.

After promising so much early on in his career, Rohit frustrated even his most ardent fans and admirers with his inconsistency. They often thought he was running out of chances and the team management was running out of patience. But Indian captains, coaches and selectors persisted with Rohit - Virat Kohli once said he felt the Mumbai batsman was far more talented than he was.

Rohit has been on a record-breaking spree since 2013 when he became the third batsman to score a double hundred in ODIs (against who else but the Aussies!). Then came that monster 264 against Sri Lanka the next year. And after some more daddy hundreds in ODIs and flop shows in Tests, came the tour of Australia in 2016.

He is now only the third batsman after Tendulkar and Brian Lara to make 1000 runs within their first 20 games against Australia. Rohit is also only the third batsman after Graeme Hick and VVS Laxman to hit back-to-back hundreds against Australia in Australia.

Rohit now has five hundreds against Australia from 20 innings and is not far behind West Indian legend Desmond Haynes, who scored six tons against them in 64 innings and Tendulkar, who smashed nine hundreds against the Aussies in 70 innings.

Rohit smashed his third hundred in his last four innings in Australia - he made 137 in the quarterfinal against Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, hit 34 against Australia at the SCG, before returning in 2016 to crack two successive hundreds against the Aussies at the WACA and Gabba.

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