I'm here to score runs and lift the World Cup, says Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma broke a few records during his knock against Sri Lanka but when asked about it, the Indian opener said 'he is not here for the records'.

Rohit Sharma after notching up his fifth century in World Cup 2019.   -  AP Photo

The smiles ain’t leaving Rohit Sharma’s face. The ODI batting behemoth sauntered into the press conference hall at Headingley here on Saturday evening. He blinked once, nodded at known faces and when asked about whether he is conscious of his fresh records, India’s centurion in a winning cause against Sri Lanka, said: “I am not here for the records, I am here to play cricket, score runs and lift the (World) Cup.”

And what’s his mantra for success? “Staying in the present,” he replied. When probed about being dropped from the 2011 World Cup squad and that perhaps pushing him to work harder, Rohit countered: “It has been eight years now and I have moved on.”

Read: Rohit, Rahul tons give India easy win over Sri Lanka

Yuvraj Singh had recently tweeted about a chat he had with Rohit during the IPL and the opener revealed the nature of that conversation: “Yuvi is like a big brother. I was telling him about getting starts in IPL but not converting those and he said when it mattered I will deliver, he was hinting at the World Cup. He was in a similar space before the 2011 World Cup.”

For now, Rohit wants to cut out the surround sound of advice and expectations. “You don’t want someone yapping in your ear all the time,” he quipped. But what about his relative failure to convert his tons into Daddy hundreds, like he did in the past? “It is not much of a worry because eventually we won but yes the plan is to bat deep and if I am in such a position again come the semifinals, I will ensure that I stay,” he answered.

INDIA THE FAVOURITE

Meanwhile, Dimuth Karunaratne backed India to win the World Cup. After his team suffered a seven-wicket defeat against Virat Kohli’s men, the Sri Lankan captain said: “India has balance. It has good bowlers and a top-order that is scoring centuries. It has a better chance to win this World Cup.”

Also read: Rohit equals Tendulkar for most centuries in World Cup

The skipper lauded Rohit and mentioned that the opener keeps “batting and batting” and is an ideal inspiration for young batsmen. Karunaratne praised Angelo Mathews but rued that they couldn’t give a winning ODI farewell to Lasith Malinga. And as for the game, he said: “We just couldn’t squeeze India. Their bowlers did well and then their batsmen played fearless cricket.”