Gillette ODI Series v India
Rohit aiming to reverse Aussie curse
The India veteran will be attempting to overturn an unwanted record during the remainder of the ODI series against Australia
Sam Ferris at the SCG
12 January 2019, 11:54 PM AEST
An exhausted Rohit Sharma fronted the press on Saturday night and revealed a statistic he's desperate to change after India lost the opening Gillette ODI Series match to Australia in Sydney.
Rohit spent the best part of 96 overs on the Sydney Cricket Ground; 50 overs under the blazing sun in the field and then 45.4 overs with bat in hand as he compiled 133, his 22nd one-day international century and fourth in Australia.
But it was post-match when he dropped an unwanted factoid.
"Unfortunately, all the four hundreds that I got in Australia we lost all the games," Rohit said.
"That is one thing I want to change; if I get a hundred I want to make sure we win the game as well."
A review of Rohit's record in Australia confirms it – he's absolutely right.
Rohit's first hundred in Australia was 138 batting first at the MCG in January 2015 when the hosts chased down 268 to win with an over to spare.
A year later, he made an unbeaten 171 at the WACA Ground as India amassed 3-309 only to watch Steve Smith (149) and George Bailey (112) secure the win inside the final over.
And three days later in Brisbane, he made 124 but again in a losing cause as Australia proved too strong in pursuit.
It's a record he wants to change but it's not from a lack of trying – Rohit's exhibition of power hitting has put side in a winning position only for the opposition to find a way to win.
Saturday's knock was particularly impressive given the 31-year-old only arrived in Australia four days ago after shooting home to India following the Boxing Day Test for the birth of his daughter.
But the oppressive heat in Sydney played its part as a fatigued Rohit ran out of battery late in the run chase.
"It was a little exhausting," Rohit said. "The weather in Sydney is like that.
"It was overcast yesterday during practice and today it was hot. We expected it to be a bit overcast but it was quite hot.
"We are used to it and we cannot use it as an excuse because we play in India where it;s absolutely hot and humid as well.
"It was not humid here today, I batted for almost 45-46 overs and I didn’t sweat a lot, so it wasn’t humidity but it was hot."
So damaging was Rohit that Australia quick Jhye Richardson, who claimed 4-26, said the hosts’ game plan changed from getting Rohit out to just getting him off strike.
"He batted really well," Richardson said.
"Credit to him, he summed up the conditions just as well as we did.
"He batted very patiently and knew the balls he could put away.
"He picked the gaps really well tonight. There was a period there, they had a partnership through the middle and almost could have taken the game away from us.
"But we were lucky to get Dhoni out lbw and we kept getting wickets from there on.
"He was very dangerous and we understood that.
"So our plan sort of changed to getting him off strike and just bowling at the batsman down the other end."
Rohit will have two more chances this series to reverse the curse, starting in Adelaide on Tuesday before the series finale at the MCG on Friday.
Gillette ODI Series v India
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
First ODI: Australia won by 34 runs
Second ODI: January 15, Adelaide Oval (D/N)
Third ODI: January 18, MCG (D/N)