Although the Men in Blue lost their second game in a row in Bangladesh on Wednesday, India skipper Rohit Sharma ignited the internet with his scorching 28-ball, unbeaten 51-run innings.

In the second ODI at the Shere-E-Bangla Stadium, Rohit Sharma, who had his left thumb amputated while fielding during Bangladesh’s innings, stepped out to bat at No. 9. He came close to leading India to a historic victory. However, India ultimately had to accept a startling five-run loss in order to drop their second straight series in Bangladesh.

First, to bat, Bangladesh found itself in trouble at 6/69 as India took control of the match with the help of Washington Sundar’s three wickets.

But just when it seemed like India was winning the match handily, Bangladesh rallied thanks to a scorching 148-run partnership between Mahmudullah and Mehidy Hasan Miraz. After Mahmudullah was bowled out for 77 runs in the 47th over, Mehidy Hasan Miraz gave Bangladesh’s innings one last boost with 54 runs off the final 23 balls.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who reached 100 undefeated off 83 deliveries, was the driving force behind the Bangladeshi recovery.

In response, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, and KL Rahul were all back in the hut, leaving Rohit Sharma and company in a dire situation at 4/65. Because Rohit Sharma was unavailable at the top of the order owing to a thumb injury, their issues were made worse.

Rohit Sharma

The slump was broken by Shreyas Iyer and Axar Patel’s 107-run partnership, but the asking price kept going up. Team India was on the verge of losing as the score reached 213/8 a short while later. When everyone assumed that the game was done, a new twist entered the story when an injured Rohit Sharma took the field to bat.

Rohit Sharma produced gutsy innings despite the injury issue, starting to hammer the ball all over the place and bringing the total down to 20 runs at the end of the 49th over.

In the last over, where 20 runs were needed to win the match, Rohit Sharma smashed the second and third deliveries for boundaries, but the dot ball Mustafizur Rahman bowled on the fourth complicated matters for him.

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Rohit Sharma blasted the fifth delivery of the 50th over for a maximum when India needed two sixes to win the game. However, Mustafizur Rahman bowled an unplayable yorker on the final ball to give Bangladesh a surprise victory.

However, the crowd was immensely appreciative of Rohit Sharma’s performance, referring to him as the “champion” and saying that his courageous knock had won the hearts of all Indians.

Even the top T20 hitter in the world, Suryakumar Yadav, couldn’t help but thank him via Twitter, writing: “Massive Respect dude.”

In the meantime, Rohit Sharma provided an update on the thumb injury he sustained while playing defense for Bangladesh. The 35-year-old eventually entered the field for India at number 9 and smashed a 28-ball unbroken 51 to help the visitors come within one run of victory in the game’s last over.

“Honestly, the thumb is not too great. Some dislocation on the finger, but not a fracture, which is why I could come and bat,” Rohit Sharma said after India’s second consecutive loss in the series.

“I think when you lose a game, there are positives and negatives… From 70 for 6 to allowing them to 270-odd was not a great effort from the bowlers. The middle overs and back end are hurting us – it hurt us in the first game as well,” he added.

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“We need to focus on what we need to do as individuals but not taking anything away from Mehidy and Mahmudullah. But we need to learn how to break partnerships and that’s something that will hold you in good stead,” Rohit Sharma elaborated.

In one-day cricket, it’s all about partnerships like those guys did it. When you get 50, 70-run partnerships, you should make it 100-120 partnership. Having said that, we have a lot of things to look at and we need to be a bit brave and take more chances,” The Nagpur-born cricket star elaborated.

“Few injury concerns and we need to get to the bottom of it; maybe they’re playing too much cricket. It’s something we have to sit down with our team at NCA and try and monitor their workload. Can’t afford to have half-fit players representing India,” Rohit Sharma signed off.

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