India vs New Zealand, World Cup 2019 semifinal: Rohit Sharma, India's trump cards finds his free spirit

Rohit, by his own admission, is in a "good space" which has helped him shed the cloak of caution and play with freedom that has made him one of the fiercest openers in limited-overs cricket.

The languid brilliance and lazy elegance of Rohit's batting that has ultimately resulted in a ruthless streak is an extension of the 'free Mumbai spirit'.   -  getty images

"Birthday mein kya bola jaata hai yaar, Happy Birthday... yehi to bola jata hai (What do I say? What does one say on birthdays? Happy birthday?! That is what we say on birthdays (laughs)."

That was Indian opener Rohit Sharma, answering a question about M.S. Dhoni's birthday celebrations at the post-match press conference on Saturday.

“We might celebrate his birthday on the bus on our way to Manchester,” Rohit added when a vernacular journalist kept on funnily ‘probing’ the Indian vice-captain to say something more.

This was shortly after the Mumbaikar had plundered the Sri Lankan bowling attack to score his record-breaking fifth hundred in World Cup 2019.

Rohit, by his own admission, is in a "good space" which has helped him shed the cloak of caution and play with freedom that has made him one of the fiercest openers in limited-overs cricket.

READ| Dhoni to retire after Team India's last World Cup 2019 match?

Rohit Sharma is determined on the pitch and relaxed off it, as evidenced by his rather light-hearted responses in media interactions.   -  getty images

 

The flamboyant right-hander has six centuries in World Cup history, the same as Sachin Tendulkar, who took six editions to achieve the feat as opposed to Rohit's two.

Prashant Naik, a Mumbai batsman who has been Rohit's friend for two decades, had revealed that the 32-year-old is a big fan of Bollywood flicks featuring Govinda and Rajpal Yadav. "Let it be an extremely bad film, but if it has Govinda or Rajpal, he will watch it. He is crazy for them. You have to be with him to actually realise how much he enjoys these films," Naik said.

The languid brilliance and lazy elegance of Rohit's batting that has ultimately resulted in a ruthless streak is an extension of the 'free Mumbai spirit'.

An uncluttered state of mind has allowed him to overcome the initial, at times prolonged, concerns over a promising talent not living up to the expectations. He's determined on the pitch and relaxed off it, as evidenced by his rather light-hearted responses in media interactions.

"Not really because all you guys wanted Rishabh Pant to play. Right from the time we left India you all kept on asking where is Rishabh Pant. There he is at no.4 (laughs)," quipped Rohit when asked if he was surprised to see Pant walk out at 4 on his World Cup debut.

Rohit was not part of the squad when the M.S. Dhoni-led India to the World Cup title at home in 2011. Eight years later, he is skipper Virat Kohli's trump card with India two matches away from a third title. Maybe Rohit can finally assume the tag of a 'world beater' in his 12th year in international cricket.