Rohit Sharma: Having a newly-born daughter has put me in a good space

The 32-year-old believes becoming a new father at the turn of the year has helped put him in a mindset where runscoring comes naturally

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Scorecard | Ratings | Talking Points | Simon Hughes

Rohit Sharma credits his five-month-old daughter Samaira for his purple patch of form.

Sharma hit his second century of the World Cup as India romped past Pakistan by 89 runs in a rain-affected contest at Old Trafford on Sunday, his fluent 140 laying the platform for an utterly emphatic victory.

The 32-year-old believes becoming a new father at the turn of the year has helped put him in a mindset where runscoring comes naturally.

“It’s just the space I am in right now, it’s a very good phase in my life,” said the opener.

“Having a newly born daughter in my life has actually put me in a good space.

“I’m enjoying my cricket.”

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Rohit Sharma made 140 against Pakistan

Sharma’s innings, coupled with half-centuries from KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, left Pakistan needing 338 for victory - a task which seemed very unlikely from the first over of the response.

With rain threatening, and Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam forging a century stand for the second wicket, Pakistan did briefly look like making a fist of the chase, but when Kuldeep Yadav got rid of Babar, bowled through the gate, everything fell apart.

Kuldeep finished with 2-32 from nine overs - by some distance his best bowling performance of the tournament so far - and also removed Fakhar as Pakistan lost four wickets for 12 runs.

Sharma was full of praise for the mystery spinner afterwards.

“Kuldeep is someone who needs a lot of confidence before going into his spell. As a team we’ve been talking about him, about how big a matchwinnner he has been for us in the last year of so,” he said.

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“It’s a hell of a record for a spinner. Most of the wickets have come outside the subcontinent. He’s our matchwinning bowler in the middle over phase. Today you saw how crucial those wickets were.

“He didn’t start the tournament the way he would like to. For us, as a group around him, our job is to make sure he gets that confidence from the team.

“It’s about making sure he knows he’s one of our premier bowlers. When you do that as a team, the individual always wants to step up and I think he did that today.”

India now have seven points from four matches - victories over Australia and South Africa, and a washout point against New Zealand, in addition to today’s win - and Sharma says the camp is a happy one.

“We always know how important it is to start well, the focus is always on that, see where the team is heading and then the individual. As a team we’re heading in the right direction. For us it’s important for us to keep ticking all the boxes,” he said.

Our coverage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is brought to you in association with Cricket 19, the official video game of the Ashes. Order your copy now at Amazon.co.uk

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