Rohit Sharma’s performance in this World Cup might not showcase big scores in every match, but his influence at the top of the lineup stands as a pivotal factor in India’s dominance throughout the tournament.
Facing Trent Boult and Tim Southee as threats to the Indian top-order after Rohit chose to bat in the Wankhede Stadium semi-final, he made certain that the haunting memories of the 2019 World Cup semi-final, where India lost early wickets, didn’t resurface in this crucial game.
From the outset, Rohit demonstrated his intent, striking two boundaries off Boult’s first over, but it was his assertive approach against the left-arm bowler in the following over that conveyed a real message. Charging down the track, he dispatched New Zealand’s top-speed bowler for a six over covers, following it up with three more sixes before his dismissal while attempting another big hit. His 47 runs set India on an advantageous path.
Consistently throughout this tournament, Rohit has diverted his focus from personal run tallies. Instead, he embraced a simple yet crucial task: maximize the powerplay’s potential.
His success in achieving this objective is evident. Four of India’s top-five powerplay scores in ODI World Cup history emerged in this tournament, driven by Rohit Sharma’s ultra-aggressive approach, initiating a relentless assault on opponents right from the start.
Rohit’s strike rate of 124 stands as the best among the top-10 run-scorers of the 2023 World Cup. Maintaining an average of 55 at that remarkable strike rate, accumulating 550 runs across 10 innings, underlines Rohit’s consistency and authority on the field.
Acknowledging Rohit’s impact, former Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar praised the Indian captain, stating that Rohit could have easily secured 5-6 centuries in this World Cup if he had pursued personal milestones. However, Rohit’s choice to maintain an aggressive stance without letting up at any stage was evident. His sole century in this tournament came against Afghanistan.