Rohit Sharma revealed his new-born daughter has put him in a “great space” after the opener scored his second century of the World Cup to set up India’s big win over arch-rivals Pakistan.
Sharma smashed 140 off 113 balls to lead India to 336-5 after being put into bat in the rain-affected game in Manchester on Sunday.
Indian bowlers, led by spinner Kuldeep Yadav, then combined to restrict Pakistan to 212-6 while chasing a revised target of 302 in 40 overs.
India won by 89 runs via DLS method to secure bragging rights over their old enemy.
But Sharma, who was blessed with a baby girl during India’s tour of Australia in December last year, said his young family have played a key role in helping him focus on his performances on the pitch.
“It’s a very good phase in my life. Having a daughter, a newly born daughter in my life actually has put me in a good space,” Sharma told reporters after his man-of-the-match performance. “So, yeah, I think I’m enjoying my cricket coming off a great IPL (Indian Premier League) campaign and then starting off here. So the focus was always on that to start well and then see where the team is heading and then the individual. So I think as a team we’re heading in the right direction.”
The attacking opener, who led his IPL side Mumbai Indians to their fourth IPL title in May, has already scored 319 runs in three innings as India are unbeaten in four World Cup games, including a washout.
Sharma came out all guns blazing against Pakistan to put on 136 runs with opening partner KL Rahul, who made 57 after replacing the injured Shikhar Dhawan.
Sharma took apart Pakistan with some clean hitting as he smashed 14 fours and three sixes.
“When you are playing where the conditions are going to challenge you, as a batsman, you’ve just got to assess the conditions first because the pitch was under the cover for a long time,” said Sharma. “So the idea was not to lose wickets and build a platform and try to take the game forward after that.”
Sharma and Rahul thwarted Mohammad Amir’s impressive first spell to keep India in control.
Sharma, who recorded his 24th ODI ton, said: “They bowled, I guess, pretty well in the first half. The first 10 overs, I would say. Of course, we know in England, once you’re in, it’s very hard for the bowlers to come back, and there’s not enough room for error.”
Two-time champions India next take on minnows Afghanistan in Southampton on June 22.