While the headlines will be hogged by Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer for their centuries and Mohammed Shami for his record-breaking 7-wicket haul – and deservedly so – Rohit Sharma’s thunderous start against New Zealand and throughout the World Cup have been now put into perspective and have been significant in India’s success.
What Rohit’s purposeful and aggressive starts do is allow Virat Kohli to take his sweet time to settle himself in for a big innings, as it has happened on mulitple occasions in this tournament.
There had been huge apprehensions among the fans about how India will tackle the swing and seam movement of Trent Boult and Tim Southee, the scars of 5/3 still lingered among the fans from the 2019 World Cup semi-final.
However, right from the first over, Rohit Sharma took down the New Zealand pace duo before also attacking Santner. The India captain blasted 47 runs in 29 balls to give India another rollicking start.
Overall, Rohit Sharma has scored 550 runs at a strike rate of 124 in the World Cup 2023. He’s been thrillingly dominating in the first powerplay: 354 runs at a strike rate of 133, no opener is close to Rohit’s strike rate.
Former opener Wasim Jaffer praised Rohit’s attacking mindset and his leading from the front with the bat with a special tweet.
Wasim Jaffer tweeted: “Rohit’s knock today may not count as a milestone in traditional sense. But trust me it’s a milestone moment in Indian cricket. Of a captain staying true to his style of play and walking the talk on the big stage! #INDvNZ #CWC2023”
Rohit Sharma planned with Dinesh Karthik last year that India needed to change their approach
Former England captain Nasser Hussain, too, gushed in rich praises for this attacking modus operandi of Rohit in this World Cup. Hussain revealed that Rohit had told Dinesh Karthik last year after India’s 10-wicket loss to England in the T20 World Cup semi-final in Adelaide that India needed to change their approach in white-ball cricket.
“Dinesh Karthik was with the side when India played England in the semi-final of T20 World Cup in Adelaide, where they played meek, timid cricket, got a below-par score and England knocked them off by 10 wickets. he told DK that India needed to change.
“The skipper went out there and showed everyone, and showed his dressing room, that we are going to carry on exactly the same way,” Nasser Hussain said.