Rohit Sharma stamps his authority as India's best T20I batsman

Rohit Sharma lit up the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow on the eve of Diwali on Tuesday with a record century against the Windies to seal the T20 International series with a match to go and along the way became India's leading run scorer in the format.

Photo credit: ICC/Twitter

Put into bat first, Sharma made a slow start playing out the first over as a maiden but that was the best it could get for the Windies bowlers on the day. The Indian captain went on to hammer an unbeaten 111 off just 61 balls at a strike rate of 181.96, helped by 8 fours and 7 sixes. He brought his fifty in 38 balls, and from there he plundered 60 runs in the next 23 balls.

"Whenever you get opportunity, you try and do well," said Sharma, who was picked up as an Icon Player by ARCS Andheri in the inaugural T20 Mumbai league earlier this year. "Everyone will go home smiling. That's what we play for. Glad we could win the game and win the series."

He became the first player to hit four centuries and the first skipper to score two in T20Is and then went on to take three catches as the Caribbean side could only manage 124/9 in response to India's daunting 195/2. Surpassing Colin Munro's tally of three tons, Sharma's score is now the best unbeaten score for his team.

With Shikhar Dhawan at the other end, Sharma forged a 123-run partnership for the opening wicket, the highest for India for any wicket against Windies in T20Is. The pair have now scored 1268 runs together in T20Is, the most by any duo.

During the course of his innings, Sharma also emerged as the highest run scorer for India in T20Is, surpassing the mercurial Virat Kohli's tally. Among the country's top five run-scorers, Sharma also holds the best strike rate. It's little wonder as the 31-year-old has now recorded the most number of sixes in international cricket in a calendar year and most number of maximums in India in T20Is.

No one else was as clear cut contender for the Man of the Match award than Sharma as India won by 71 runs as the skipper led from the front.

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