India played an astonishing brand of cricket in the 2019 World Cup, but 30 minutes of bad cricket in the semi-final against New Zealand in Manchester led to their downfall. Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma, in particular, had a terrific campaign and emerged as the tournament's leading run-scorer. The opener amassed 648 runs in nine innings at an average of 81 and a strike rate of 98.33. The right-hander also became the first batsman to score five centuries in a single edition of the World Cup. On this day in 2019, Rohit scored his fifth hundred of the mega-event against Sri Lanka in Leeds. Here, we look back at all five hundreds:
122* v South Africa, Southampton
The right-hander from Mumbai got his campaign off to a solid start by crafting a sedate century against South Africa on a tough surface. After the Indian bowlers restricted the Proteas to just 227/9 in 50 overs, Rohit played uncharacteristically on a surface that was offering enough assistance to both the fast bowlers and spinners. Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo bowled tremendously and India lost Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli before the end of 16 overs.
The onus was now on Rohit to take India home and the opener didn't disappoint. He was dropped on 1 but once he got into his groove, Rohit never looked back. He added two crucial stands with KL Rahul and MS Dhoni and restricted himself from playing needless shots. He smashed 13 fours and two maximums in his 144-ball knock. It was Hardik Pandya who provided the final flourish but Rohit batted till the very end and only left the field once the job was done. "In my opinion this is by far his best ODI innings because of the kind of pressure the first game brings from a World Cup point of view," said captain Kohli about Rohit's innings.
140 v Pakistan, Manchester
Rohit scored 57 in the next match against Australia, while the game against New Zealand was washed out. Then came the all-important encounter against the arch-rivals Pakistan and Rohit once again hogged most of the limelight. While Rohit was sedate with his approach in Southampton, the opener took the attack to Pakistan from the word go in Manchester. Rohit smoked 14 fours and three sixes in his 113-ball 140 and helped India post a total of 336/5 in their 50 overs.
Rahul and Kohli both scored half-centuries but it was Rohit who dominated the Pakistani bowling attack. Rohit brought up his century off 85 balls, off the last ball of the 30th over and had enough time to get a yet another double century. It was all going well for Rohit before he tried to scoop Hasan Ali and ended up hitting it straight into the hands of short fine leg. In reply, Pakistan were 212/6 in 40 overs before the rain arrived, and India won the encounter by 89 runs (DLS method).
102 v England, Birmingham
He managed scores of 1 and 18 against Afghanistan and West Indies respectively before arriving in Birmingham for the clash against England. The home team were under a lot of pressure after losing to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia and needed to win this match to stay alive in the tournament. The likes of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes took the attack to the Indian spinners and managed to post a massive total of 337/7 in their 50 overs.
In response, India lost KL Rahul in the third over and were 28 for 1 at the end of 10 overs. Rohit managed to score his third century of the tournament and put on 138 runs with Kohli for the second wicket. Rohit was dropped on 4 and it took him 65 deliveries to complete his fifty. However, once he got to his fifty, he slammed four fours in seven balls and got some rhythm back into his batting. As he did in Southampton, Rohit couldn't bat till the end and was dismissed just after completing his hundred. India fell short by 31 runs.
104 v Bangladesh, Birmingham
Rohit was in the form of his life during the World Cup but the right-hander also had his fair share of luck. He was once again dropped on 9 against Bangladesh and went on to make them pay. Apart from that, Rohit looked in fabulous touch and scored his fourth century of the tournament. He smashed seven fours and five sixes and batted at a strike rate of over just over 113. He put on 180 runs for the opening wicket with Rahul and took the game away from Bangladesh.
The pitch was flat but progressively slower and Bangladeshi bowlers bowled plenty of hittable balls, allowing Rohit and Rahul to score runs without taking too many risks. Rohit was superb through the covers and also offered quite a few of his trademark pulls. It was Soumya Sarkar who finally managed to dismiss Rohit with his medium pace but by then the damage was already done. Mustafizur Rahman then picked up five wickets in the last 12 overs and restricted India to 314/9. Bangladeshi batsman tried their best but were bundled out for 286 in 48 overs.
103 v Sri Lanka, Leeds
Sri Lanka managed 264/7 in their 50 overs on the back of Angelo Mathews' 128-ball 113 but India hunted down the total with utmost ease in just 43.3 overs. Both Indian openers Rohit and Rahul made centuries of their own and added 189 runs for the first wicket. Both of them played quite a few outrageous shots and made a mockery of the target.
It was once again Rohit who batted with an aggressive approach and blasted 14 fours and two sixes in his 94-ball 103. The two went after Lasith Malinga and Dhananjaya de Silva and were hardly challenged by the Sri Lankan bowlers. In the process, Rohit completed his fifth ton of the tournament and became the first batsman to score five hundreds in a World Cup, going past Kumar Sangakkara's record of four centuries in the 2015 World Cup.
Coming on the back of three consecutive hundreds, Rohit was dismissed for just 1 in the semi-final against New Zealand and India were knocked out of the tournament. They might not have won the World Cup but it was a tournament to remember for Rohit.