Bengaluru, July 12: They both had made the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 their own. As they broke many records in the tournament, the fans were expecting a massive round-up from them.
But neither Rohit Sharma nor Mitchell Starc could give their dream run in the tournament the finishing touch they would have wanted.
Both India and Australia, their respective teams, lost in the semi-finals of the showpiece event.
Rohit was just 27 runs short of bettering his compatriot Sachin Tendulkar's record of scoring the most runs in a single World Cup (673 runs in 11 matches in the 2003 edition). He slammed a world record of scoring most number of hundreds in a single edition (five) and equalled Tendulkar's tally of six WC hundreds in just his second (Tendulkar did it over six editions).
Since the opener had scored three consecutive hundreds in his last three games, the expectations were high from him in the semifinal as well. But a beauty of a delivery from Matt Henry halted Rohit's juggernaut and with India crashing out by losing the game by 18 runs, Tendulkar retained his record by the virtue of 25-run gap.
Starc though had a slightly better luck but he would have wanted it to be a happier occasion for his side. The left-hand seamer had a grand run in the tournament after all the injury and criticism in the recent past, repeating his performance of 2015.
While he is still was the joint highest wicket-taker in that edition played at home along with Trent Boult (both took 22 wickets), he was away ahead of the rest this time. He took two fifers against the West Indies and New Zealand and as many four-wicket hauls against Sri Lanka and England but couldn't get the job done in the semifinal against the same old enemies, the Three Lions.
It was a ironical that Starc took his 27th wicket in the semifinal at Edgbaston in the form of Jonny Bairstow but by then, the match had gone against Australia as England romped home by eight wickets. Unlike Rohit, Starc barely broke his compatriot Glenn McGrath's record of 26 wickets taken in the 2007 World Cup, but it was not a moment to feel elated as the Kangaroos lost their first-ever World Cup semifinal and also with that, the crown.