NEW DELHI: While Virat Kohli continues to capture the spotlight whenever India takes the field, it’s the skipper Rohit Sharma, who has quietly emerged as the team’s undeniable talisman, leading them to an impeccable run in the home World Cup.
In the 50-over showcase, no other captain has exerted as much influence on their team’s destiny as Rohit has, steering India to the top of the points table and the cusp of the semi-finals with an impressive six consecutive wins.Rohit’s captaincy has been astute and effective, whether it’s recognising India’s strength in chasing targets rather than setting them, adhering to a horses-for-courses approach when selecting the playing XI, or extracting the best from his bowlers.
Moreover, his contributions with the bat have been equally crucial. He has often set the tone for their innings, becoming India’s leading run-scorer in the tournament, surpassing even Kohli.
Despite a disappointing start with a duck in the opening match against Australia, the 36-year-old, renowned for his graceful strokeplay, has since dominated the powerplay overs, putting India in control.

Fans celebrate as India thrash defending champions England in style, Rohit Sharma plays a captain’s knock

After pulling off five successful chases in a row, India were tested on Sunday when England captain Jos Buttler won the toss and asked them to bat first on a tricky surface in Lucknow.
For a change, India could not make the most of the powerplay, managing 35-2 in the first 10 overs, and were 40-3 in the 12th over with Kohli among the dismissed batters.
That they still managed a match-winning total of 229-9 was largely due to Rohit’s masterly 87 in the low-scoring contest where no other batsman managed a half-century.

Known for destroying rival attacks, Rohit proved he could rebuild an innings as well as he combined in a 91-run stand with KL Rahul to resuscitate India.
Rohit did not get his second hundred of the tournament but his measured knock fetched him player-of-the-match award.
“It’s just not about going and playing my shots,” the opener said after helping India clinch the bowler-dominated contest against holders England.

“When you have that much experience you’ve got to use that experience and do whatever is necessary for the team, and it was at that point in time necessary for me to take the game as deep as possible…”
It is a template that has served India well in the tournament and the one they would like to repeat in the remaining three group matches.
(With Reuters Inputs)

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