Melbourne, December 14: All eyes in Melbourne are set on the MCG for India’s Boxing Day Test – and Rohit Sharma and some other Indian batsmen have ‘secret’ plans, according to sources.

When a team leaves country to play overseas, they simply want to win, to be able to go back having earned accolades of their countrymen. Indian cricket team currently visiting Australia is no different. And Virat Kohli and his boys have a special hunger, known for their aggression, they want to, if not undo the past, but write the present in golden ink – by wining the Test series and claiming the Border Gavaskar Trophy.

And when it comes to Indian batting, Virat Kohli and his batting cohort, have many individual dreams of breaking records and achieving glory for themselves as a result of recording a victory for their national team. And Bharat Times can reveal, from unconfirmed sources, some batsmen have set their eyes on breaking the biggest hit’s record at the MCG; they want to create a world record longest, highest six at the MCG.

Fans will remember the innings played by the likes of Sandeep Patil at the MCG, who was perhaps a role model for Virendra Sehwag but the record books show the longest hit was recorded by Australia’s Simon O’Donnell off Greg Matthews (Aussie spinner) in a Sheffiled Shield match between Victoria and New South Wales. The ball reached a seat on the third level of the Great Southern Stand and that seat now has become a landmark – changed to cream/yellow seat while all other seats on that stand are blue. The distance travelled by the ball is estimated to be 122 metres.

There are anecdotal stories about Sandeep Patil hitting a six when the ball hit a window pane, but BT could not verify the reference to it. There are however two references in India  to Sandeep Patil’s batting prowess replete with aggression. In the first, Sandeep hit the ball out of the Wankhede Stadium to hocky ground and in the second case, playing at Parsee Gymkhana ground, he hit 21 sixes and one of the six landed in Arabian sea sailing over the famous Marine  drive in Mumbai.

The other international reference the players will be carrying in the minds will be that of Indian skipper CK Nayudu’s in England. In Edgbaston in 1932, Nayudu hit a six clearing the River Rea which runs by the ground. The distance travelled by the ball was 115 metres approx.

Back to the MCG Test, whoever is nurturing the ambition to break the old and make a new record this time at Boxing Day Test will most likely be contemplating the Simon O’Donnell hit.

Although there are a number of players in the Indian squad capable to hitting the ball that hard and big to achieve the feat, the names of Parthiv Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Chateshwar Pujara, Prithvi Shaw and Rohit Sharma come to the fore. But if one was to look at the form and pace of scoring runs and recent achievements of these batsmen, Rohit Sharma’s name stands out.

Is he the one carrying the secret desire? No one would confirm. “You will have to ask him, I am not saying anything”.

Rohit is a reservoir of big hits and big scrores:

264 in ODI (highest individual score)

106 in T20I (his first in T20I – and in all formats)

100 in 35 balls in T20I

3 Double 100s in ODIs

3 times led his team to IPL Title

4 Centuries in T20I

In November 2014, Rohit scored 264 against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, which is the highest individual score in ODIs. He is the only player in the world to score three double hundreds in ODIs. In Twenty20 Internationals, scoring 106 against South Africa, he became the second Indian to score a century in all three formats. He also scored 100 off just 35 balls in T-20 against Sri Lanka, becoming the fastest batman to score 100 in T20I. Rohit Sharma is the first skipper to lead his team to the IPL title thrice.

In November 2018, he became the first cricketer to score four centuries in T20 international cricket.

From humble beginnings to life of glory

Born in 1987 in Bansod, Nagpur (Maharashtra India) Rohit (has elder brother Vishal) is the second son of Gurunath Sharma, a caretaker of a transport firm. His mum Purnima Sharma is from Visakhapatnam. His father Gurunath Sharma worked as a caretaker of a transport firm storehouse. Due his parents’ modest income, he was raised by his grandparents and uncles in Borivali, a suburb of Mumbai.

It was his uncle who put him into cricket camp in 1999. His coach Dinesh Lad worked at a different school and asked Rohit to change school. In an interview, Rohit recalled telling his camp coach he could not afford. But the coach had seen the talent in him and got him the scholarship. This is how Rohit put it: “I told him I couldn’t afford it, but he got me a scholarship. So for four years I didn’t pay a penny, and did well in my cricket.”

Many would know Rohit started as an off-spinner who could bat a bit before his coach Dinesh Lad noticed his batting abilities and promoted him from number eight to open the innings. He scored a century in his opening match and has never looked back.

Will he be the one? Only time will tell. Let us hope his fitness does not play up.

In the meantime, grab your tickets; reserve your seats to be part of the history in the making.

– Raj Kumar

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