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‘Rohit could’ve hit 5-6 hundreds this World Cup. 50 ODI centuries no big deal’ | Cricket

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‘Rohit could’ve hit 5-6 hundreds this World Cup. 50 ODI centuries no big deal’ | Cricket


Rohit Sharma may not have got the big scores in every match of this World Cup but his impact at the top of the order has been a major reason behind India’s dominance in the tournament. Trent Boult and Tim Southee were the biggest threats for the Indian top-order after Rohit won the toss and opted to bat at the Wankhede Stadium in the semi-final. But Rohit made sure the bitter memories of the 2019 World Cup semi-final, where India lost their top-order for 5 runs on the board, did not come back to haunt them four years later.

India's batter Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-final match between India and New Zealand, at the Wankhede Stadium, Wednesday(PTI)
India’s batter Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-final match between India and New Zealand, at the Wankhede Stadium, Wednesday(PTI)

Rohit hit Boult for two boundaries in the very first over of the semi-final but the real message came in the left-armer next over. Rohit charged down the track to New Zealand’s premier fast bowler and smashed him for a six over covers. He hit three more sixes before perishing while attempting another. But by the time he was out, he had given India a headstart It is something that Rohit has done throughout this tournament. He has stopped caring about the number of runs he scores. Instead, he has given himself a simple task – go out and maximise the powerplay as much as possible.

And he has been successful so far. Four of India’s best-five powerplay scores in ODI World Cup history have come in this tournament and it has been because of an ultra-aggressive Rohit Sharma, who has launched an all-out attack on the opposition right from the word go. Rohit’s strike rate of 124 is the best among the top-10 run-getters of World Cup 2023.

That he has maintained an average of 55 at that strike rate, hammering 550 runs in 10 innings speaks volumes about his consistency and dominance.

Lauding Rohit for his impact, former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar said the India captain could have easily scored 5-6 centuries in this World Cup if he wanted to but he chose not to take his foot off the accelerator at any stage. Rohit’s only century in this tournament came against Afghanistan.

“India brutally hammered New Zealand. Rohit Sharma said we have a problem with Boult? I’ll take care of him You have a problem with (Mitchell) Santner? I’ll attack him. My only complaint with Rohit Sharma would be that he is not scoring centuries. However, Rohit Sharma could have easily scored 5-6 hundreds in this World Cup,” Akhtar said.

‘Rohit could have easily scored 50 ODI centuries’: Shoaib Akhtar

The Rawalpindi Express did not stop there. He went on to state that Rohit too can score 50 ODI centuries like Virat Kohli. “He too could have scored 50 ODI centuries, he can still do it. It’s no big deal for him. Rohit as a batsman and as a captain has been superb. He saps the wind out of the opposition at the very beginning.”

Kohli went past Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of 49 ODI centuries to become the first cricketer in the world to hit a half-century of hundreds. He bowed down to Tendulkar, who was in the Wankhede stands, after reaching the historic milestone. “I felt very good that Virat broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record in his presence. He gave due respect to his master, and idol after completing his century. It was great to see,” Akhtar said.

Akhtar also praised Shubman Gill for his super 80-run knock. The young India opener had to walk off the field when he was batting on 79 because of cramps. “Then Shubman Gill, who is just coming from dengue, does not have enough strength in his body to carry on. If he hadn’t got cramps then he could have scored a century.”

India scored 397/4 riding on centuries from Kohli (117) and Shreyas Iyer (105). Then Mohammed Shami broke multiple records with his career-best figures of 7/57 to bowl New Zealand out for 327 as India won the match by 70 runs to advance to the final.

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