Former India captain and opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth feels that it is the temperament of India vice-captain Rohit Sharma that lets the batsman score big.

Rohit Sharma is currently in the form of his life. On Saturday, the 32-year-old became the only batsman to hit five centuries in a single World Cup edition. Rohit has so far amassed 647 runs in eight innings in the tournament.

Riding on Hitman’s brilliance, India finished as table-toppers and will meet 2015 finalists and fourth-placed New Zealand on Tuesday (9 July) at Old Trafford in Manchester.

“India’s openers are flying right now and in Rohit Sharma they have someone who has it all. With three centuries in a row, five in total in this World Cup, he is in incredible form,” Srikkanth wrote in his column for the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“The opposition knows that you either get him out before he gets to 10, or the next pit stop is probably 100. In the last three years of his career, he has been outstandingly consistent in one-day cricket.

“I think the most important thing about him is his temperament. He is so cool and calm, and just never gets flustered. So many players start to panic if they don’t get runs during the Powerplay, but Rohit doesn’t. Even when he starts slowly, he is dangerous,” Srikkanth said.

“He has this ability to just shift through the gears, from second to fourth to sixth to eighth. By the time he gets to 120, he is in eighth gear. He has a fantastic striking ability and we saw that against Sri Lanka.

“But it is also important to remember that he does more than just striking the ball cleanly. Rohit can score this many centuries because he has a rock-solid defence.

“I think back to when he was still batting in the middle order, a game against South Africa when Dale Steyn had just taken two quick wickets. Rohit came in, played with a dead straight bat and built through his defence. You cannot score that many hundreds without a great defence, and Rohit has it,” the former cricketer pointed out.

(With inputs from IANS)