Rohit Sharma looked like a being that did not quite belong to this mortal planet called Earth at the Eden Gardens on Thursday. It was almost as if the India batsman had been possessed by a foreign force from a foreign land with much superior technology and the unerring ability to smash fours and sixes.
The man who spoke after hitting a world record 264 – 13 runs more than the entire Sri Lanka team managed in Kolkata in the 4th ODI – was the same old modest Rohit, though, waxing lyrical not about the unbelievable knock, but about his teammates – particularly Ajinkya Rahane, his opening partner, and Virat Kohli, his skipper.
Rohit did not look like the batting phenom he would become over the course of the first innings of the 4th ODI, with the right-hander, making a comeback from injury after two and a half months on the sidelines, struggling early on for timing and runs.
And Rohit believes the fast start given by Rahane, who made 28 from just 24 balls, at the other end helped him settle and not worry about scoring too many runs too early.
"It was important for me to get back into my groove because I was feeling a little out of place initially having not played international cricket for two months," said Rohit to BCCI's official website. "Ajinkya's knock -- the quick fire 28 he got -- really helped me settle down and allowed me to take my time.
"It was crucial for me to just get the feel of the game and play myself in. It may sound like it's only a two-month gap but coming after an injury, it is never easy. So, this was the thinking initially and then once I got to 50, I started to play quite fluently.
"I know my game well and the idea was to get to a little landmark and then build it on from there. I am glad that I could bat for 50 overs."
Out of those 50 overs, it was probably the batting Powerplay that really gave India the momentum to go for a score well in excess of 300, with his batting partner at the time – Kohli – deciding to take the five-over spell earlier than he needed to.
India ended up scoring 57 runs from those 30 balls from over number 30, without the loss of a wicket, and there was no looking back from there for the home team and Rohit.
"It was a brilliant move by the captain [to take the Powerplay early]," said Rohit. "It was Virat's initiative to take the Powerplay then. The thing with Powerplay is that they can go either way and you have to be careful.
"It can drift the game in favour of the opposition if you lose too many wickets, and if you take calculated risks, it can put you on top. You can't just go berserk in Powerplay, you have to bat sensibly.
"We played some proper cricketing shots and didn't slog our way. I have played a lot here and I understand this ground. The outfield is quite fast and once you pierce the gap, it's a boundary."
For a viewer watching Rohit bat, one might think there is very little going on in his mind, with that bat being used as a club to pummel every single delivery towards the ropes. But, Rohit's hitting on Thursday was not just about smashing every ball he sees fit – it was close to that – there was more to it.
"My approach is a bit different," added the batting star. "I like to be constantly aware about the surroundings. Even when I am in that mode I keep calculating things in my mind. I try to pick out bowlers that I can hit. I knew that a couple of their bowlers bowl really good yorkers.
"So, I had to think about how and where I need to play my shots against them. All those things went on in my mind right through the innings."