With a fantastic tournament record, Rohit Sharma produced one of the best and most memorable batting performances in the 2019 World Cup. In nine games, three of which were consecutive, he scored five centuries—against South Africa, Pakistan, England, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka—breaking Kumar Sangakkara's previous World Cup mark of four tonnes.
With Rohit at the helm and India entering another World Cup four years after that incredible accomplishment, the anticipation of a similar or even better performance has been frequently conveyed to the skipper himself over the past several weeks.
Rohit acknowledged that he no longer cared how many century he ends up with in his response, which was a very direct reminder of the 2019 World Cup.
While Rohit is familiar with the expectations from having previously led the team in the T20 World Cup in Australia last year, where the Men in Blue suffered a semi-final exit, the pressure will be different for him this time as he will be leading the team into an ODI World Cup tournament.
While India would certainly want his leadership skills—he won the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka last week—to break the country's five-year trophy drought in international competitions, the squad would also like him to put up his greatest World Cup performance.
And it surely comes up the conversation of his success in the 2019 World Cup, when he scored 648 runs at 81, the third-best total and the greatest total by an Indian in a single edition, while also setting six fifty-plus scores.
On Tuesday, journalist Vimal Kumar posted a portion of his interview with Rohit on YouTube. When asked about expectations from fans and experts to replicate his World Cup performance as a batter, the India captain chose to respond with a frank reminder that while he did set the record, the team did not take home the trophy.
Further, he said that as long as India is the victor, he doesn't really care how many tonnes were scored throughout the competition.
"I'll try to play well and have a positive attitude because that's what happened in the 2019 World Cup," he said. That year, I had pretty good practise. I also want that for this year. I have the same goals for this year. But once more, it was in 2019. Today is 2023. We often feel a desire for the way things were in the past. Although I did score five centuries the past time, we also dropped the World Cup. Therefore, nothing ought to go as planned like the World Cup of 2019 did. No matter how many hundreds or singles I score—or even if I don't—I want to win the World Cup. The World Cup trophy matters more than how many hundreds someone scored. That will be a letdown if you can't win it" he replied.
In 2023, India will try to add to its two previous World Cup victories from 1983 and 2011. More significantly, the trophy will put an end to India's 10-year trophy drought, since they last won an ICC trophy in the 2013 Champions Trophy.
On October 8 in Chennai, India will play their first World Cup match against Australia.