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India vs Sri Lanka: Come Out to Bat Thinking I've Scored No Hundreds - Rohit Sharma

Cricketnext Staff |July 6, 2019, 11:44 PM IST
India vs Sri Lanka: Come Out to Bat Thinking I've Scored No Hundreds - Rohit Sharma

Up against his favourite opposition in world cricket, Rohit Sharma scored his fifth century at the ICC World Cup 2019 and sixth overall at the World Cup to set-up a comfortable 7 wicket win against Sri Lanka at Leeds.

Rohit is the first batsman to score five centuries in a single World Cup. Kumar Sangakkara, the former Sri Lankan batsman, had made four centuries in 2015. After the match, Rohit revealed how he keeps himself hungry to score more runs.

“The shot selection becomes important once I am in. I try and calculate how I want to go forward based on that. There has to be some discipline in your batting and I have learned that from my past,” a delighted Rohit Sharma said in the post-match presentation ceremony.

“I come out thinking I have not played any ODIs or scored any hundreds. That is the challenge as a sportsperson. I know if I play well all these things (records) will come along the way. My job is to keep my head straight and get my team to the finishing line.”

While Rohit still has at least one more game to add to his already brilliant record at the World Cup, the veteran Lasith Malinga, his teammate at Mumbai Indians in the IPL, has possibly made his last appearance in the showpiece tournament.

“He has been a champion bowler for Sri Lanka and then for Mumbai Indians. He has shown it over the years how the teams rely on him. I have seen him in close quarters and the cricket world will miss him.”

The Mumbaikar left his captain Virat Kohli with scraps to feed off in the chase after he was dismissed, and the skipper not only did not mind that at all but also believes that his side are doing well in terms of balance.

“We wanted to play good cricket. To be honest, we didn't expect this kind of scoreline heading into the semis. But that's what consistent performances and hard work get you,” Kohli said.

The talk around the Indian team through the tournament has been about getting the balance right and the combination right. Kohli’s side has not been helped by the injuries to important players during the course of the league stages.

“We don't want to be one dimensional, I think the team that is more flexible on the day has more chances of executing what they want to. Obviously the dimensions and the pitches we play on will matter a lot, so we need a good balance in the side and whatever combination provides us the balance we will go ahead with that and really feel confident if we are batting first or bowling first we are covered with all dimensions.”

Apart from Rohit, KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah, another player who stood out and kept a steady head on his shoulders was the all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The all-rounder dismissed Avishka Fernando and hung around with Kohli as they completed the chase at a canter.

“He (Hardik) has been outstanding especially after being under the pump in the first 3-4 games, but he has come back beautifully, so he's really motivated. It is amazing to have a cricketer like that who can bring in so much to the table.”

A seventh semifinal appearance at the World Cup will be the assignment next week for India as they look to bring home a third title, and the skipper, who leads by example, is raring to go.

“It is just about turning up on the semifinal day and putting up a performance. The opposition has never mattered.”

“The focus has to be within and we are confident of our skill sets. We just want to go out there in the semifinal and express our skills and strengths as a team. So regardless of who we will play, we want to play good cricket.”

“If we don't play well anyone can beat us and if we play well we can beat anyone.”

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more