A dejected-looking Rohit Sharma's solitary walk to the pavilion following Mumbai Indians' (MI) defeat to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) became a major talk of discussion for fans on social media during the weekend. 


The veteran batter cut a forlorn figure as he went past customary post-match handshakes following a masterful unbeaten 105, which proved insufficient in the end as CSK secured a 20-run victory over their staunch rivals in the IPL.

Coming back to the CSK vs Mumbai Indians contest, After Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya won the toss and asked Chennai Super Kings to bat first, the Ruturaj Gaikwad-led side put a big total of 206/4 on the board, thanks to Shivam Dube's blistering 66 not out off 38 balls and the former's 69 off 40 deliveries. 


In reply, the onus was on Rohit Sharma to lead the Mumbai Indians in their mission to accomplish the target, which he did with commendable poise and elan.


The Mumbai Indians opener took off from the beginning, smashing the ball around the park to complete his fifty in only 31 balls besides having a 70-run partnership for the opening wicket with Ishan Kishan to give the home team a flying start in their run chase.


Subsequently, in the 11th over of their innings, Rohit Sharma made history as he became the first Indian batter and the fifth overall to reach the milestone of 500 sixes in the 20-over format of the sport.


Rohit Sharma's mega feat came against CSK spinner and his Team India teammate Ravindra Jadeja when he lofted him over the ropes for a maximum on the second ball of the over.


With this, Rohit Sharma joined an elite list of cricketers who have 500 sixes to their names in T20 cricket. 


Other than the Nagpur-born batter, the men who have hit 500 sixes in T20 cricket are Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, and New Zealand's Colin Munro.


Among Indians, no other player has even hit 400 sixes in the 20-over format with Virat Kohli lying in second place with 383 maximums to his name. 


Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, and KL Rahul are the other three batters to have struck at least 300 sixes in T20s. 


Though Rohit Sharma created this massive record and also brought up his 8th T20 century, he was left dejected at the end of the day as he failed to take Mumbai Indians across the finishing line with CSK winning the clash by 20 runs.


In the end, Rohit Sharma carried the bat through as he remained unbeaten on 105 off 63 balls but Mumbai Indians could only put 186/6 on the board in their allocated 20 overs. 


Throughout his blitzkrieg, Rohit Sharma remained in search of an able partner, who could stand with him at the other end, but to no avail. 


Apart from Tilak Verma, who scored 31 off 20 balls, no other Mumbai Indians batter could find a way past the CSK bowling line-up. Rather, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Hardik Pandya (2 off 6 deliveries) and Suryakumar Yadav, who left the pitch without troubling the scorers, only allowed pressure to build, not helping the Mumbai Indians cause whatsoever. 


Eventually, not enough balls were left for Rohit Sharma to go for the kill in the final few overs, leaving him stranded on an unbeaten ton while his side slipped to the eighth position on the table, having lost their 4th match in the current edition of the IPL.

Rohit Sharma may have ended up on the losing side, but his century continued to earn him rave reviews from former cricketers. The latest to join his growing fan group was former India opener Aakash Chopra, who described him as the lone warrior for the Mumbai Indians.

“It was just a formality in the end as a lot of runs were left, and what could Rohit have done alone? He is a super Hitman, Ro's form is good for India and the Mumbai Indians, but what could he have done alone? The others needed to score more runs. The hundred was good,” Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube channel. 

On top of that, as the match concluded, CSK legend MS Dhoni's king-size gesture for Rohit Sharma won the internet as fans hailed the former for consoling the latter following his hundred at the Wankhede Stadium that went in vain. 


Rohit Sharma held one end of the crease and stayed not out on 105 off 63 balls but failed to power his team to an important win in the tournament. 


As an emotional Rohit Sharma was leaving the pitch, MS Dhoni hugged him tightly as if to emphasize that he played exceptionally well but luck was not on his side. 


MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma shared a close bond when the latter was captain of the Indian Cricket Team before retiring a couple of years ago. 


In fact, it was MS Dhoni who promoted Rohit Sharma to the opening slot in ODIs, and the rest, as they say, is history.