India lost the first of the three-match T20 series against South Africa in Dharamsala on Friday. It was a close encounter with the game being stretched to the final over of the game. South Africa won the match by seven wickets.
Despite the loss, India could take heart from Rohit Sharma's 106 runs, which was the major highlight of the first T20 match. JP Duminy's 34 ball 68 might have overshadowed Rohit's ton, but it was one such century, which shall be remembered by many for the sheer class he brought to the table when facing the Proteas' pace attack.
The elegant right-hander showed all and sundry as to why he is regarded as one of the finest talent from India as he was toying with the South African bowlers. His 79 ball 106 comprised 5 sixes and 12 boundaries.
Rohit is disappointed with India going 0-1 down in the series, but is relatively happy with his start in the series.
"It is always important to start a series well. I did have that in my mind when I went out to bat. My focus was on getting some runs in the very first game since it sets the tone for the rest of the series," BCCI official website quoted Rohit as saying.
"I feel it is a good start. Obviously disappointed with the loss but we have to regroup as soon as we can and come back really strong."
One must also give credit to Virat Kohli, who provided Rohit some great support from the other end. Kohli was always looking to give Rohit the strike, but the Delhi lad also fancied his chances when loose balls were bowled at him. The 138-run second-wicket stand between the two helped India reach a total of 199 runs. Kohli scored 43 runs from 27 balls.
"That century stand with Virat Kohli was really important from the team's perspective to get to a very good score. In any format if you get big partnerships, you are bound to get a big score on the board," added Rohit.
"We both are natural stroke makers and both of us like to play shots. It was an ideal platform for both of us to accelerate and keep playing our shots. We just wanted to keep pushing ourselves to get to a good score."
Rohit's ton in Dharamsala was his first three digit figures in the T20I. The Indian batsmen would have been happier if his ton could have helped India register a win. However, if the player comes up with such innings regularly, India are going to win more often than not.
"Any hundred you get for your country in any format it is always special and I will cherish this. Unfortunately it didn't come in a winning cause which is disappointing. It doesn't matter how many runs you score. You are not happy if your team doesn't win at the end of the day. But personally, I felt good batting out there," said Rohit.