Star middle-order batter of India, Shreyas Iyer opined on the impact of Rohit Sharma’s fearless approach at the top of the batting order after India won the World Cup 2023 semi-final against New Zealand in Mumbai on Wednesday. However, India posted a massive total of 397 and successfully defended it by bowling New Zealand out for 327 as well.
Rohit Sharma walked the talk as he continued to be aggressive in the first powerplay for India after he won the toss and opted to bat. Rohit launched into New Zealand’s new-ball bowlers, taking the likes of Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner as India posted 84 runs in the first 10 overs. However, Rohit Sharma was not afraid to play against Trent Boult, who is known for picking up wickets with the new ball.
When captain Kane Williamson brought on his key left-arm spinner Santner early into the attack, Rohit was not afraid to take on him either and play lofted sweeps. And, he made 47 (29 balls), setting the tone for the Indian batting unit to post a massive total as well. While Virat Kohli reached his 50th ODI hundred, Shreyas Iyer scored a 70-ball 105, his second successive hundred in the World Cup and his 4th successive fifty-plus score also.
“Rohit Sharma, to be honest, he sets the template for us. He gives us that kind of starts that we have to go out there and carry forward the pace he has set for us. I personally feel he is a fearless captain. His body language talks a lot about him,” Shreyas Iyer told Star Sports after India’s convincing win.
However, Rohit Sharma finished the league stage with over 500 runs, at a strike rate of over 120.
“Also, it’s kind of infectious. When he is in the dressing room, when you look at him, he is so casual in his body language. That rubs off on all the players in the team. That’s what I love about him as captain,” Iyer further added.
Notably, Shreyas Iyer had hit only one fifty in the first 6 matches in the World Cup and his place in the playing XI had come under the scanner despite India’s winning run as well. However, he did not allow the frustration to impact negatively in his game and remained composed before returning to form. And, on Wednesday, he took his run tally in his maiden World Cup beyond 500 with stunning consistency towards the end of the tournament. And, He gave the credit to the backing of the team management for this.
“It’s pivotal (support from the captain and the coaches). I didn’t have a great start in the first few matches. But they supported me. They told me that they are not worried about the outside noise. Inside the dressing room, as a coach and as a captain ‘we are backing you’. They just told me to express myself rather than thinking about what’s happening in the outside,” Shreyas Iyer concluded.