Sydney: It's amazing how a good score can lift the spirits of a batsman, both on and off the field. It's not that India opener Rohit Sharma was sulking before his maiden World Cup century (137) in the quarter-final against Bangladesh recently, but yesterday his relaxed demeanour at the pre-match press conference ahead of today's high pressure semi-final against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, suggested he was happy and content.
Rohit Sharma interacts with media in Sydney yesterday. Pic/AFP
India on roll
The contentment could also be associated with the fact that the Indian team is on a roll, with seven wins out of seven, and that could translate into him getting his hands on the prestigious trophy which he missed out on last time around (in 2011) in his own backyard, Mumbai.
He credits the defending champions' attitude for their successful run Down Under. "Our attitude has changed completely from what it was before. Everyone (in the team) is enjoying each other's successes, whether it's in the bowling, batting or fielding departments.
Everyone is enjoying the moment, and we just have to stay in the present and look forward to this semi-final. And we have played in big matches, so we know what it takes to come out as a winner," Rohit said yesterday at the SCG.
India skipper MS Dhoni inspects the Sydney Cricket Ground's pitch ahead of semi-final clash against Australia yesterday. Pic/Suman Chattopadhyay
The centre strip at the SCG has been the focal point of many a discussion over the last few days, but the 27-year-old stylish batsman said the Indians were confident of doing well irrespective of what the pitch had to offer.
"It (pitch) doesn't matter to us because if you look at the tournament we've taken 70 wickets in seven games, and that has been distributed between our spinners and fast bowlers (43 wickets to pacers and 22 to spinners). So, it doesn't really matter to us how the wicket behaves and whether it's going to give the fast bowlers a lot of assistance or the spinners.
"We've got everything covered there. Our spinners have bowled really well in the tournament and so have our fast bowlers. It's a good sign going into the semi-final," added the Mumbai batsman, who has aggregated almost 300 runs (296 to be precise) in the tournament so far.
'Aussies too have weaknesses'
The top-order bat even went on to point out a flaw in the opposition, something not many prefer to do on a public forum. "Every team has some kind of weakness, and Australia's has some too. They have definitely struggled against some quality fast bowling. If you look at the game against New Zealand, they got all out for 150.
Even the other night in Adelaide (in the quarter-final) against Pakistan they seemed to be in a bit of trouble (against pacer Wahab Riaz in particular). But overall they are a good batting unit and we are a different bowling attack. But whether it will be spin bowling or fast bowling (that will succeed), you'll see that tomorrow,"