Rohit Sharma has been batting like a dream in the World Cup 2019. He has gone past fifty in all three innings he has batted in, twice converting them into centuries. After his unbeaten 122 against South Africa got India off to a winning start in the tournament, Rohit struck yet another century – his 24th in the format – to lead India’s 85-run demolition of Pakistan.
Rohit has scored contrasting hundreds. His century against South Africa was a measured knock, one that skipper Virat Kohli lauded as Rohit’s best ODI knock. Against Pakistan though, Rohit was back to his fluent best, bringing up his 50 off 34 balls – his quickest – and the 100 off 84 balls, his second fastest.
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to bowl first because of the rain threat looming large. The two Indian openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul came out with a set plan against the Pakistani bowlers. They decided to play out the in-form and dangerous Mohammad Amir and attack the rest of the bowlers. Thus, Rohit started playing the role of the aggressor, smacking Hasan Ali for 12 runs in the sixth over. They brought up the half-century partnership in just the 10th over and there was no looking back from that point.
Rohit notched up his half-century in the 12th over and he was once again looking in a fabulous touch. On the other end, Rahul, who was playing for the first time against Pakistan in a tournament such as the World Cup, also batted really well to score a vital innings of 57 runs and stitched an excellent 136-run partnership with Rohit before getting out in the form of a soft dismissal. However, he had done a great job in laying down a solid foundation at the top.
The idea was to build a platform
“As a batsman, when you are playing where the conditions are going to challenge you, you’ve just got to assess the conditions first because the pitch was under the cover for a long time. The last two days we were here, the pitch was under the covers, and it was a little soft when we started. So assessing the crucial phase of the innings, the first phase of the innings was important for us, and not to lose wicket at that point was very crucial,” quoted Rohit Sharma during the post-match press conference.