What must be going through the mind of Thisara Perera at the moment, having dropped the man who would break records left, right and centre, on four, a mere four runs! Rohit Sharma accepted the gift with glee previously unknown to add 260 more runs – yes, on his own, not as a team – to finish with a world record score of 264 that will take some breaking.
The unexplainable knock in the 4th ODI against Sri Lanka in Kolkata is even more amazing when you take the fact that this was Rohit Sharma's first international match in two and a half months. The right-hander from Mumbai had been forced to watch from his home as India played the West Indies and the first three ODIs against Sri Lanka owing to a finger injury sustained against England in late August.
With several people questioning whether Rohit even deserved that opening ODI slot anymore, owing to the nice form shown by Ajinkya Rahane, the 27-year-old used all that pent up energy stored from waiting on the sidelines on the Sri Lanka bowlers, carting them to wherever he pleased to score the most remarkable ODI knocks you will ever see.
Forget the fact that en route to his 264 he became the first player to ever score two double centuries in ODI cricket, or that he obliterated Virender Sehwag's top score of 219; this innings was worth watching purely because of the brutality mixed with that only-Rohit-has-it elegance.
For every slugged six over midwicket, there was a caress through the offside; for every thundering maximum, there was an equally enthralling boundary. It was, plain and simple, ODI batting at its absolute best, made to look easy as pie and as joyful as they come by this ridiculously talented man who goes by the name of Rohit Sharma.
Who cares if Rohit has not fulfilled his unending potential in all forms of the sport; who cares if he never probably will fill that potential. For the here and now, there was no better knock and no better way of inducing "Did I just witness that!? Was that for real!?" feeling.
This 264 not only made Sehwag's 219 seem like a tame century, it also made that Rohit's first double century, scored last winter against Australia, seem small and simple as well.
Yes, Sri Lanka did not have the greatest of bowlers, and yes, Sri Lanka have looked like a team that does not even want to be there on the field, and yes, the series is already over. But, to go to the Eden Gardens, albeit sparsely filled today, and play like Rohit did requires a special talent, a willow-wielding magic that is not given to a mere mortal.
Hopefully, from India's point of view, Rohit will take this brutal form to the Test and ODI series against Australia and then the World Cup. For now, though, let's just enjoy that "still shaking my head in disbelief thinking of it" knock for what it was – pure, unadulterated batting entertainment of the absolute highest order.