Mature and measured, Rohit Sharma delivers another World Cup ton

The opener now has four tons in the tournament's history, and sits behind only Sachin Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara and Ricky Ponting in the overall tally.

Photo: Cricket World Cup/Twitter

Rohit Sharma became only the second Indian after Sourav Ganguly to score three centuries in a World Cup following his knock against England at Birmingham on Sunday.

Chasing the opposition's daunting total of 337/7, the Indian opener took a measured approach after an early wicket fell as he embarked on reeling in the massive score with captain Virat Kohli. The duo put on 138 for the second wicket before the skipper departed.

Sharma is the highest-run scorer for India in this edition of the World Cup, with 440 runs in six matches, with the latest innings being his third century this month and the 25th of his career, equaling AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Kumar Sangakarra's tally. The onus then lay on him as India continued to climb the mountain.

"Losing an early wicket always puts you under pressure and we lost KL (Rahul) right at the start and they bowled pretty well in the first 10 overs," Sharma pointed out. "So it is important that the guy who is in form needs to bat as long as possible, that was between me and Virat.

"We wanted to make that partnership big because we knew that the longer we bat the closer we will get to the target. So that was the idea. We took our time, yes, but the conditions were such that it didn't allow us to just come and put pressure on the bowlers. They bowled in the right channel."

Following Kohli's exit, Sharma then put on 52 runs with Rishabh Pant to take the match deep. During this course of his innings, Sharma brought up his fifty in 65 balls and his ton in 106. He eventually departed for 102 off 109 deliveries, with the aid of 15 fours, at the start of the 37th over as the pressure mounted with India eventually losing the match by 31 runs.

"There's a lot of pressure especially when someone is batting well through the tournament, the team looks up to that particular individual to bat as many overs as possible because he is in such form," Sharma reiterated. "My job as a batsman was to do the same, because I have been batting well. I wanted to bat as many overs as possible and make sure that we get closer to the target.

"You got to give credit to the English team," he added. "They used the conditions really well. They used the longer boundary really well, they mixed up their variations quite nicely and kept us guessing all through the game."

Sharma, who was picked by ARCS Andheri for the inaugural season on T20 Mumbai, scored hundreds earlier against Pakistan and South Africa. Former India captain Ganguly too had scored three tons during the 2003 edition of the World Cup with the tournament record held by Sangakarra, who managed four in 2015.

Rohit Sharma now has a total of four World Cup centuries, in 14 matches, with fellow Mumbai batsman Sachin Tendulkar holding the record for the most tons in the tournament with six.

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