Rohit Sharma will be aiming to further adorn his unique place in Edgbaston ODI history when he lines up for India against England in Birmingham next July.
The great India opener is the only batter in the long history of international cricket at Edgbaston to have scored three ODI centuries at the ground.
Since making his ODI debut against Ireland at Belfast in 2007, Sharma has gone on to become one of the world’s most formidable players in the format, scoring 29 hundreds in 9,205 runs at an average of 48.96.
On July 9 next summer, the Edgbaston crowd will need to keep their eyes peeled for their own safety as he looks to add to the little matter of 244 sixes he has hit in ODI cricket.
Sharma will be looking to make more bowlers suffer in Birmingham, as he has in stylish fashion before. He scored his first ODI ton at Edgbaston in 2017 when his unbeaten 123 underpinned victory over Bangladesh. He followed that up with two tons in the Second City in three days during the 2019 World Cup; 102 against England followed by 104 against Bangladesh.
The 34-year-old will take his place in a star-studded India team which will pose a potent challenge to World Champions England. ODIs between the two sides, both always raucously backed by their big, noisy and colourful armies of supporters, at Edgbaston have offered great games and atmospheres ever since the first, in 1999.
On that occasion, perhaps India’s finest ever batting line-up, including Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Azharuddin, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, defeated Alec Stewart’s England by 63 runs.
Twenty years later, in a World Cup group match, Sharma’s elegant century threatened to reel in England’s hefty total of 337, only for Bears favourite Chris Woakes to dismiss him and set up a 31-run win for Eoin Morgan’s men.
That pulsating match formed the springboard for England to march on to the lift the World Cup. Who will take the glory at Edgbaston next July – Sharma or Woakes?
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Edgbaston will host up to six days of England cricket with an LV= Insurance Test Match against South Africa (25-29 August) and an ODI against India (9 July).
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