India’s Rohit Sharma says he is chasing World Cup glory and not personal records after he scored his fifth century at the 2019 World Cup on Saturday. The in-form opener made 103 off 94 balls to lead semi-finalists India to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Headingley. Rohit reached his ton with a boundary off Kasun Rajitha to pass the mark set by Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, who scored four hundreds at the 2015 tournament. His century took him to 647 runs in eight matches at the World Cup but he said his records would only be meaningful if India went on to win the title at Lord’s on July 14. “I’m not here for records. I’m here to play cricket. I’m here to play and score runs and lift the cup,” Rohit said.
“Winning the game 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 have all been looking for this World Cup, which comes every four years.”
The Indian vice-captain started the tournament with an unbeaten 122 in his team’s opening win over South Africa on a tough batting wicket at Southampton. Rohit, who followed that up with scores of 57, 140, 1, 18, 102, 104 and 103 to average 92.42, said every innings was a fresh start for him.
“It is very difficult. Trust me because you’re in that fraternity where you meet so many people. They will talk about how well you’re batting, how many runs you’re getting, how many hundreds you’ve scored,” said Rohit.
“Fortunate that we have a bunch of guys around us who do not discuss these kinds of things too much, about personal milestones. And my family is here to distract me from that.”
Rohit, who is renowned for his hunger for big hundreds and is the only batsman to register three double centuries in one-day international cricket, was dismissed by Rajitha but India chased down their 265-run target with 39 balls to spare.
The 32-year-old Rohit said he will learn from his mistakes and build on his hundred if he gets one in the knockouts. “I was disappointed with that, the last three hundreds I got, I couldn’t go on to bat as deep as I could,” said Rohit.
“After a hundred, it’s your mistake that can cost you your wicket... 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.”
The two-time champions, led by Virat Kohli, will meet hosts England or New Zealand in the semi-finals next week.