World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma's ton against SA was classic, says John Wright

Updated: Jun 10, 2019, 08:12 IST | Harit N Joshi

Former India coach John Wright pleased with India opener Rohit Sharma's evolution; rates India vice-captain's unbeaten ton v South Africa a classic

World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma's ton against SA was classic, says John Wright
India's Rohit Sharma plays a shot during his 57-run knock against Australia at The Oval in London yesterday. Pic/AFP

Harit N JoshiThe Indian fans outside The Oval were in for a surprise when they spotted former India coach John Wright trying to enter the stadium for yesterday's India v Australia World Cup clash.

While a few clicked selfies, others were just satisfied by a handshake with the New Zealander, who was India's coach at the 2003 World Cup in Southern Africa. Wright was excited by India's prospects in the World Cup.

Superb start

"They have started really well in the World Cup and it is so important to their confidence. I was very pleased with the way they played against South Africa in challenging conditions. It was a wonderful start," Wright told mid-day.

John Wright outside The Oval yesterday. Pic/Harit N Joshi
John Wright outside The Oval yesterday. Pic/Harit N Joshi

Wright was particularly pleased with Rohit Sharma's unbeaten century in the opening clash and Jasprit Bumrah's two wickets for 35. He shares a close proximity with Rohit and Bumrah as they both are part of Mumbai Indians for whom he is a talent scout.

"It was a class innings. The way he played and the maturity he showed was marvellous," said Wright. Rohit steered India's chase of 228 with an unbeaten 122 to win their opening clash by six wickets at the Ageas Bowl on June 5. It prompted skipper Virat Kohli to rate it as Rohit's best ODI knock. The Mumbai batsman though didn't think so. "Not the best, but yes, probably one of the best. I would rate that knock amongst the best at the top because it was not the easiest of the conditions. Although, yes, we were not chasing a high amount of runs, it was not that easy," Rohit said on Saturday.

Bumrah, exceptional bowler

Wright heaped praise on Bumrah and expects him to be the standout performer of this World Cup. "The way he bowled [in Southampton] was exceptional. I am very happy for him," Wright said of the Indian pacer after unearthing him during a Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament at Ahmedabad in 2013.

He immediately recommended that Mumbai Indians sign him up and the rest is history. He was soon drafted into the Indian team and then fast-tracked into the Test side. When asked whether Bumrah will be the X-factor for Team India in the World Cup, Wright said: "It will be a team effort [if India have to win the World Cup]. As far as Bumrah is concerned, I am sure it will be a massive tournament for him. He will certainly do well."

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