India batsman Rohit Sharma lived up to the promise he had made to his father Gurunath a week ago.
India's Rohit Sharma swirls around to hit a shot during his century effort against Bangladesh in the World Cup quarter-final at Melbourne yesterday. Pic/Gety Images
The crafty Mumbai batsman, whose form was one of India's biggest concerns going into the knock-outs, silenced his critics with a 126-ball 137 to help India post 302-6 — their third 300-plus total in this World Cup — in the quarter-final against Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday.
In reply, Team India bowlers packed off Bangladesh for a paltry 193 to win the one-sided affair by thumping 109 runs.
Rohit, who scored just 159 runs from six matches in the group stage that included two half-centuries against minnows UAE and Ireland, had last week promised his father a fiery performance in the knock-outs which he delivered yesterday.
"The last time when I spoke to Rohit — a week ago — he sounded very confident. He told me, main aapko khush karunga century maar kar (I will cheer you up with a ton) in the knock-outs. I am glad he did it in the quarter-final itself," an elated Sharma Sr told mid-day, minutes after India's victory.
Rohit built his innings maturely by spending some time in the middle and opened up when the team needed to accelerate. Rohit's father felt his son was unlucky in the group stage. "Rohit was getting starts, but was not able to convert them. I felt he was a bit unlucky. Luck is a big factor," said Sharma Sr, who watches his son bat from Ball One.
Rohit's father believes yesterday's century was just the tonic his son needed. "I am very happy with the way he played. He ensured he spent some time in the middle. It will certainly help his confidence," concluded Sharma Sr.