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ICC World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma's centuries have come at crucial moments and against top teams

Rohit Sharma

Bengaluru, July 3: Indian opener Rohit Sharma has made the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 his favourite theatre.

In eight games, the Indian batsman has slammed as many as four centuries and is the highest run-getter in the tournament at the moment with a tally of 544 runs.

Bangladesh's star performer in this tournament Shakib Al Hasan, who made 66 against India at Edgbaston on Tuesday, fell just two runs short of Rohit's tally.

WC Special | Schedule | Squads

Shakib now has only one game left, which is against Pakistan, while Rohit has a minimum of two since India have made it to the semifinals.

Speaking about Rohit's form, the batsman has done it exceedingly well in this World Cup. What is striking in his journey in this edition is that he has chosen big opponents to score his three-figure knocks while has failed to score much against the ordinary ones.

This is certainly a sign of a great batsman. For India to advance further in the tournament, Rohit's bat needs to generate more such knocks for he is almost playing for both himself and Shikhar Dhawan, the other top run-getter in big events who got ruled out after scoring a hundred versus Australia.

Each of Rohit's hundreds were all class

Each of Rohit's four hundreds made in this World Cup have had their distinct characters. While his 122 not out off 144 balls against South Africa in the opening game in Southampton was more a battle against the odds that he gradually won, he was at his carefree best against Pakistan by hitting 140 off 113 balls. Against England, again, his 102 off 109 balls while chasing though could not help India win, but it had certainly all the promises to make the steep chase a worthwhile one. It spoke about the batsman's gradual shifting of gears. And against Bangladesh, too, the innings could have become a replica of his knock against Pakistan but for a premature dismissal.

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Rohit generally hits big hundreds once he reaches there and would be disappointed for not having converted the ones he got against England and Bangladesh.

Against minnows

Rohit equalled Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara's four centuries in one World Cup with his ton against Bangladesh. Sangakkara's feat though had come in four consecutive games but one of them was against a non-Test-playing nation (Scotland). Rohit also broke the record of Sourav Ganguly who had got three hundreds in a single World Cup but all of his had come against non-Test-playing nations like Namibia and Kenya (twice) in 2003. Even the great Sachin Tendulkar, who has made the most number of World Cup hundreds (six), had three of them against minnows (versus Kenya in 1996 and 1999 and versus Namibia in 2003).

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has five centuries in World Cup but one of them had come against Scotland in 2007. Sangakkara also has five Wolrd Cup centuries in all with one of them, as mentioned above, coming against Scotland.

All five of Rohit's hundreds at the World Cup have come against Test-playing nations and in crunch moments (he made 137 against Bangladesh in the quarterfinal of the 2015 WC in Melbourne) which certainly puts him qualitatively right at the top.

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Story first published: Wednesday, July 3, 2019, 12:24 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 3, 2019
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