MANCHESTER: His perplexed reaction to a question on an impending record suggested that Rohit Sharma is, genuinely, not chasing the numbers. “No, no, see, 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,” said Rohit when mentioned that he was just 27 runs short of overtaking the legendary Sachin Tendulkar as the most run-scorer in a single edition of the World Cup.
The century against Sri Lanka in the last game of the league was Rohit’s fifth of the tournament and it helped him move clear of Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara for the most in a single edition. Rohit, however, believes that these numbers are immaterial if they don’t help India win the World Cup.
“If we win the World Cup then probably I would (consider it as the highlight of my 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. For us, as cricketers, it’s important to get the job done because we all have been looking forward to this World Cup, which comes every four years. You have to wait four years for this,” he added.
‘Family a welcome distraction’
Having his wife and daughter travelling with him in the UK helps Rohit switch off from the rest of the world. “Spending time with the family is a welcome distraction. Apart from that, we are fortunate that we have a bunch of guys around us who do not discuss anything about personal milestones.
“Constantly yapping in anyone’s ear is not right. So I think, it’s important for us to put that away and focus on the job at hand. I’m just trying to stay in the present. I don’t want to think about how many ODIs I’ve played or how many runs I’ve scored or how many hundreds I’ve got,” he added.
‘Daddy hundreds’ on cards
Known to score ‘daddy hundreds’ in ODIs, Rohit couldn’t convert any of his five centuries into a big score with 140 against Pakistan being the highest of the tournament. The frustration was palpable after every soft dismissal. “Personally, I was disappointed because, after a hundred, it’s your mistake that can cost your wicket. The last three hundreds I got, I couldn’t go on to bat as deep as I could. I’ll make sure if I’m in that situation again, I wouldn’t just let it go like that,” he said.
It wasn’t all rosy when Rohit embarked on the trip to the UK. He was worried about not making enough runs despite striking well during the initial stage of the IPL. Rohit had a long chat with Yuvraj Singh, one of the architects of India’s triumph in the 2011 World Cup.
“He is like a big brother to me. So we always talk about the game and life. He said ‘when it matters you will do it’. I guess probably he was talking about the World Cup. He was in a similar phase in 2011 before the World Cup. So what he told me was to just be in good space,” Rohit said....