Mumbai Indians (MI) and Indian skipper Rohit Sharma on Wednesday reflected on his omission from the squad for ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and how it changed his life and game. Rohit did an exclusive interview with JioCinema ahead of his side’s Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 eliminator match against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in Chennai on Wednesday. Rohit said that his omission from the 2011 Cricket World Cup changed a lot about his game and routine and the year was a “setback” for him. India brought the World Cup home after 28 years, defeating Sri Lanka in the final at Rohit’s home venue of Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. A young Rohit, then an up-and-coming talent, had to watch this all happen from the sidelines.
“2011 was a big setback year for me, not being part of the World Cup team, I have no one to blame but myself. I worked on my game. Yoga, meditation and living alone helped me a lot. I realized something has to change, knew my life was on edge and that if I did not improve, I would not be able to play cricket again. I made a lot of changes to myself between 2014-15, because I knew I would have nowhere to go otherwise. I had to think about how I could help my team, and take myself to another level. I found the answers to them myself,” said Rohit in the interview.
Honestly, I did not watch the World Cup itself except for the semis and the finals because I was so disappointed that I did not want to watch. Every time I put the TV on I felt that I could have been there, what went wrong and stuff like that,” revealed Rohit.
It is safe to say that Rohit has bounced back big time since then. The ICC Champions Trophy 2013, where he got a chance to open with Shikhar Dhawan, sent his career graph on a massive upward trajectory. He scored 177 runs in five innings at an average of 35.40 with two half-centuries in that tournament, which India won. This marked Rohit’s second title win with India after the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 in South Africa.
Rohit enjoyed a great ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 with the bat. He scored 330 runs in eight matches at an average of 47.14. He scored these runs at a strike rate of 91.66. A century and two fifties came out of his bat, with the best score of 137. India earned a semifinal finish in that tournament.
The ‘Hitman’ as he is known to his fans, continued his remarkable 50-over World Cup career in 2019. In that edition of the tournament, he topped the run-scoring charts with 648 runs in nine matches at an average of 81.00 and a strike rate of 98.33. He scored five centuries in the tournament, becoming the only player to do so in a World Cup. He also scored a fifty. His best score was 140. India earned yet another semifinal finish in the tournament.
Overall in 17 World Cup matches, he has scored 978 runs at an average of 65.20 and a strike rate of over 95. He has scored six centuries and three half-centuries, with the best of 140.
Now in 2023, he will be leading Team India as a captain in the ICC Cricket World Cup in October-November, which will be held in India in its entirety for the first time ever.
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