Leeds, 8 July, 2019: Talent requires a bit of hand-holding in times of crisis as Rohit Sharma found out when Yuvraj Singh, who’s been through similar phases, exuded confidence in the Indian vice-captain’s ability to score runs when it matters.
Rohit, who has now scored a record five hundreds in a single edition of World Cup, wasn’t among the runs during Mumbai Indians’ victorious IPL campaign.
During the IPL, Rohit spoke about his apprehensions to the man who helped India win two global trophies.
“I was not getting big runs (during IPL). So we were just I mean, he (Yuvraj) is like a big brother to me. So we always talk about the game, about life. So he said when it matters you will do it. I guess probably he was talking about the World Cup, I think,” Rohit said after guiding India to a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Rohit felt it helped that Yuvraj found the former’s situation strikingly similar with his own form ahead of the 2011 World Cup.
“So during IPL, we were having a good chat around the game basically. So because he was in a similar phase in 2011 before the World Cup, was not getting enough runs.
“So what he told me was to just be in good space. And that’s what he did, that’s why he was so successful at that World Cup. So that is the chat we had,” he added.
Five hundreds in a single edition is a heady achievement but Rohit will only consider it a big highlight if India go on to lift the trophy on July 14.
“If we win the World Cup then probably I would,” Rohit replied when asked if this world record will remain the highlight of his career.
“If not, then I can’t, because eventually winning the cup is important, no matter how many runs you score or how many wickets you take.”
Four years is a long time and that’s why nothing feels good if the mission is not accomplished.
“You have to wait four years for this. Eventually the job for us is to go and win the finals, the semifinals before that, yes. But as long as that is not accomplished, no matter how many runs you score in the tournament or how many hundreds you get, you won’t feel satisfied.”
He is only 26 runs short of Sachin Tendulkar’s highest single edition aggregate of 673 runs, scored in 2003. Rohit’s current tally stands at 647.
“I’m not here for records. I’m here to play and score runs and lift the cup. That is what I’m here for. I’m not looking at all those things at all, honestly.”
The Sri Lanka game gave the opener satisfaction that they have been able to tick all the boxes in their successful run-chase.
“I think it was important because we want to cover all our bases, tick all the boxes before the semis come. Basically it’s a knockout for us, so we wouldn’t be able to afford a lot of mistakes on that particular day,” he cautioned at the post-match media interaction.
Despite the tons of runs, the 32-year-old is not fully satisfied as he hasn’t gone on to score a single ‘Daddy Hundred’, which he is known for. He promised to make one in the semi-finals against New Zealand.
“The last three hundreds that I got, I couldn’t go on to bat as deep as I could. But I would take that hundred. Yeah, a little disappointed with that, but I’ll make sure if, come the semis, if I’m in that situation I wouldn’t just let it go like that.