In India’s last league stage match of World Cup 2023, against the Netherlands in Bangalore, India captain Rohit Sharma took an ODI wicket after 11 years.
It was Rohit’s only 9th wicket in his 260-ODI career so far. And it was only the first time he’s bowled in an ODI match since 2016.
Rohit Sharma used to bowl part-time early in his career, but due to a shoulder injury he stopped bowling at any level. Against the Netherlands, with the match effectively in India’s pocket, Rohit Sharma came on to bowl in the 48th over of Netherlands with the Dutch still needing over 150 runs to win and only one wicket in hand and three overs remaining.
On the 4th ball of the over, Teja Nidamanuru smacked Rohit over deep mid-wicket for a six. But Rohit had the last laugh as on the very next ball, Nidamanuru holed out to Mohammed Shami at long-on, giving Rohit Sharma his 9th ODI wicket, and his first since 2012.
There was already excitement among the crowd when Rohit came on to bowl, and the fans erupted when he took a wicket to seal the win.
Rohit’s wife Ritika Sajdeh was in the stands and the camera panned on her after Rohit took Nidamanuru’s wicket. Ritika Sajdeh couldn’t stop smiling and beamed with joy at her husband taking a rare wicket.
Watch: Ritika Sajdeh’s reaction after Rohit Sharma took a wicket vs NED
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It wasn’t just Rohit Sharma’s bowling that got the crowd excited, Virat Kohli, too, rolled his arm over and got a wicket. Rohit also gave overs to Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav; only Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul didn’t bowl for India.
Rohit highlighted that he wanted to try out his part-timers which would give him options.
Rohit said: “When you have five bowlers, you want to create those options within the team. Today we had nine (bowling) options, it’s important, this was the game where we could have tried certain things. As a bowling unit, we wanted to try doing something different and see what we can achieve.”
Next, India take on New Zealand in the semi-final on Wednesday in Mumbai.