It was a great year for the Indian cricket team in which the men in blue took giant steps across all formats, extending their dominance in world cricket under the able leadership of Virat Kohli. India started the year with a thumping victory over England in the shorter formats, followed it with Test series win over Australia, had a wonderful run in the ICC Champions Trophy, dominance in West Indies, white-washed Sri Lanka on their home soil before beating them again in India. Last 12 months were like a treat for the fans who got to witness a number of mouth-watering knocks by top-Indian players. While Rohit Sharma grew as a superstar, Shikhar Dhawan made an inspirational comeback to international cricket and Hardik Pandya showed promise for the future. Here, we have a look at the top 10 knocks played by the Indian batsmen in the shorter formats of the game in 2017:
1. Rohit Sharma vs Sri Lanka
2017 was all about eat, sleep and break records for Rohit Sharma. Virat Kohli’s deputy produced some virtually superhuman performances in the year but his third ODI double century against Sri Lanka in Mohali tops the list. The hitman unleashed himself against the opponents smashing 208 runs from 153 balls with the help of 13 fours and 12 sixes. He had a strike-rate of 341 in his last 27 balls.
2. Yuvraj Singh vs England
Some would call it more of an emotional pick but the fact that Yuvraj Singh made a comeback to ODI cricket after a gap of three years and celebrated it by smashing his career best of 150 at a time when India needed it badly, earns him a spot on the list. In fact, if it wasn’t for Rohit Sharma’s massacre against Sri Lanka, Yuvraj would have topped the list. The southpaw smashed 150 runs from 127 balls with the help of 21 fours and 3 sixes, rewinding the clock on his prowess in spectacular fashion.
3. Hardik Pandya vs Pakistan
When a superstar arrives, you know it. Hardik Pandya is that sort of a player: A West Indian born in a Indian’s skin. The full-of-energy all-rounder announced himself at world cricket by destroying the arch-rivals in a high-voltage ICC Champions Trophy final in London. Pandya’s 43-ball 76-run knock was the only bright point of an otherwise dull performance by the Indian team.
4. Kedar Jadhav vs England
The little dynamite from Royal Challengers Bangalore arrived to bat against England in Pune at crucial time. Chasing a target of 351, Men in Blue were struggling at 63 for the loss of 4 wickets when Jadhav joined captain Kohli at the crease. After Kohli fell, it was Jadhav’s smashing knock of 120 runs from 76 balls that helped India to a comfortable win.
5. Virat Kohli vs Sri Lanka
Any list of batsmen is incomplete without this man’s name on the list. The Indian skipper had a fantabulous 2017 aggregating hundreds of runs across all formats. But, it was his knock of 131 runs from 96 balls against Sri Lanka in Colombo that stood out from the lot.
6. Rohit Sharma vs Sri Lanka
Before Sri Lanka could have recovered from Rohit’s knock of 208 runs, the Mumbai Indians captain once again unleashed himself against the same opponent equalling David Miller’s record of fastest T20I century. Rohit scored 118 runs from 43 balls with the help of 12 sixes and 10 fours.
7. MS Dhoni vs England
When Yuvraj Singh was smashing England at Cuttack, his old friend and partner in crime MS Dhoni wasn’t playing a mere spectator at the other end. The former Indian skipper scored 132 runs from 122 balls with the help of 10 fours and 6 sixes guiding India to an easy win.
8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar vs Sri Lanka
When the year started who would have thought that Bhuvneshwar Kumar will find his name in a list of batsmen! But, that’s why we call cricket a beautiful sport. Chasing a moderate score of 231, India was down to 131/7 when a calm Bhuvi joined Dhoni at the crease and played a composed knock of 53 runs from 80 balls taking his team home.
9. KL Rahul vs Sri Lanka
It was a tough year for KL Rahul. The Karnataka batsman got injured before the start of the Indian Premier League and not only missed the entire tournament but also ICC Champions Trophy and his place in the Indian cricket team. The opener made a great comeback against Sri Lanka though scoring 89 runs from 49 balls in the 2nd T20I at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore.
10. Ajinkya Rahane vs Windies
Rahane’s form in Tests might be a worrying sign for India before the South Africa series but the vice-captain did make the most his opportunities in the limited-overs format this year. He scored 103 runs from 104 balls against Windies at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad in June. Rahane was also named man of the series.