Rohit Sharma is in the form of his life with a record fifth century in the ongoing World Cup, but for India batting coach Sanjay Bangar, it is the way he has helped his opening partners in the larger interest of the team that is most noteworthy.
The stylish opener struck 103 against Sri Lanka in India’s seven-wicket victory at Headingley, and that win, combined with Australia’s defeat to South Africa, clinched top spot for India after the league stage.
Rohit’s opening partner KL Rahul (111) also got in on the act, much to Bangar’s delight. “What is remarkable is the consistency (Sharma) has shown in this tournament because its very easy for any batter to rest on past laurels. But he has come out in each and every innings and started in the same fashion,” Bangar said about Rohit, who went past former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, who hit four centuries in the 2015 World Cup.
“The way he has helped his partner at the other end, whether it was in the Australia game where he helped Shikhar (Dhawan) out of a difficult phase … now he is helping KL Rahul out in the middle and here he also flowered. So, that is all team work and I’m really glad that he is doing all this for the team on a consistent basis.”
India finished the group stages with seven wins and a defeat from eight completed games, along with a washed out encounter against New Zealand.
They will face the Black Caps in Manchester in the first semi-final on Tuesday in their quest to move one step closer to a third World Cup title.
Bangar said the key will be to focus on their own game, rather than worrying about what the opposition will do or the fact they are one game from the final.
“We are just keen to get on and play the semi-final as soon as possible. We need to keep doing the things we are doing at the moment,” said the former India all-rounder.
“We have always maintained that we are looking at our internal parameters. If we are hitting our internal indicators, then we will be playing at our best and that is what we aspire to do.”