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Inspired Rohit is India’s World Cup heartbeat

Kriralok Desk:

Rohit Sharma, well known as `Hitman’ is renowned for his hunger for big hundreds and his soaring self-belief is driving India forward as they seek a third World Cup trophy.

The opener is in the form of his life, hitting his fourth century of the tournament in the win against Bangladesh on Tuesday that ensured India into the semi-finals.

With an attacking 104 at Edgbaston, Sharma took his overall tally of World Cup hundreds to five, second only behind living legend Sachin Tendulkar, who hit six centuries in as many tournaments.

Rohit is also only the second batsman after Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara to register four hundreds in a single World Cup.

The attacking opener, who led his Indian Premier League side Mumbai Indians to their fourth title in May, is now the tournament’s leading run-scorer with 544 runs in seven matches at an eye-watering average of more than 90.

India skipper Kohli has admitted more than once that he does not have the repertoire of strokes of Sharma, whose elegance combined with his hunger for runs makes him such a compelling batsman to watch.

Sharma, who started his World Cup campaign strongly against Proteas with a battling 122 not out on a tough batting wicket, says he has learned to curb his instincts and finishing off a game gives him “immense satisfaction”.

The India vice-captain explained his approach after scoring a century in a losing cause against England on Sunday.

He says, “Every game for me is a new game, and I try and do the same, try and see if I have the portion to finish the game or bat as long as possible and get the team in a good position, things like that.”

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar says Sharma is showing great maturity in his ability to convert fifties to centuries.

The 32-year-old is the only batsman to score three double centuries in ODIs, with his highest score of 264 coming against Sri Lanka in 2014.

Sharma has amassed 8,554 runs at an average of nearly 49 in 213 ODI matches since making his debut in 2007.

He has a standard strike-rate of over 88 and has hit 26 centuries and 42 fifties in his glittering career.

India might win their third trophy if this man can inspire the team to World Cup glory at Lord’s on July 14.