Rohit Sharma feels that big runs and hundreds matter little, if the team doesn't win the competition. Rohit Sharma, who scored a match-winning 74 against Afghanistan on Wednesday, spoke of his maturity as a batsman since 2016, and the experience of playing across various tournaments.
Rohit Sharma has been one of the pivotal players in the Indian team for the last decade or so, especially in the limited overs setup. The elegant opener has scored 9,205 runs at 48.96 in ODIs, and 2,952 runs at 32.09 in T20Is.
The 2019 ODI World Cup in England and Wales, stands as a major highlight in Rohit's career, as he scored 648 runs from nine matches, with five hundreds to his name. India however, exited the tournament with a semi-final defeat to New Zealand. Reflecting on that campaign, Rohit said that it was a special tournament for him personally, but all those runs and centuries don’t matter if the team doesn’t won the trophy.
"Yeah, 2019 World Cup was a very special one for me personally. Only because I got runs and it was good. There was a procedure that I was trying to follow and it worked for me. That was the happiness. You know when you go into any tournament, there is a certain plan which has been placed by you and you want to follow that. That is what I did and it worked for me. If you don't win the trophy, all those runs that you score, all those hundreds that you score mean nothing honestly,” Rohit said in an interaction with ICC.
Rohit believed that he has matured as a batsman since 2016, with the experience he has gained during the time.
"2016 to now, all I can see is of course I have gained a lot of experience," Rohit said. "I have matured as a batsman a lot more than what I was in 2016. Understanding of the game, what the team needs, because you always have to put the team ahead of yourself and see what the team needs at that point. Try and take a moment or two and think if I am going to play a shot, is it what the team needs at this point.”
Rohit has been a prolific opener for the team in both ODIs and T20Is. He first opened for India in ODIs in 2011 and became a regular opener since India's victorious Champions Trophy 2013 campaign. Rohit has aggregated 7,238 runs at 57.44 with three double hundreds while opening in ODIs, and 2,478 runs at 33.04 in T20Is at the position.
Rohit reflected on his role as an opener in the shorter versions.
"When you start the innings for your team, you have the best opportunity to face maximum balls. You get as many runs as possible which is why you see the number of hundreds that has been scored around the world in T20 has to be by the top three batters. So yeah, my job remains the same,” the linited-overs vice-captain said.
As the sport has evolved, the playing conditions have become better for the batsmen, with a lot of high scoring matches aided by a significant number of boundaries and sixes. Rohit feels that batsmen are playing more fearlessly than ever, and marked it a reason for a lot of hundreds being scored.
“A lot of hundreds have been scored these days. This is all because of the nature of the game and what has evolved over the years. You know people have gone out to play fearlessly, not thinking about what if they get out. That has actually worked for a lot of teams, including us", said Rohit.
India will face Scotland in a must-win T20 World Cup 2021 fixture in Dubai on Friday, November 5.