India's captain Rohit Sharma
India's captain Rohit Sharma watches the ball after playing a shot during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup semi-final match against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on November 15, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

New Delhi: Former England skipper Nasser Hussain was left awe-struck by Indian skipper Rohit Sharma's performance against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final at the Wankhede and called him a 'genuine hero.'

Rohit's rollicking 47 off 29 balls ensured that India got off to a flying start, and his partnership with Shubman Gill laid the foundation for a massive score.

India eventually went on to seal their place in the final and after the game, Hussain showered praises on the unsung hero of the Indian team for setting an example for everyone by playing his usual attacking game even when the stakes were high.

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Hussain opined that Sharma changed India's approach and convinced the team and the nation that attacking cricket was the way forward.

"The headlines tomorrow will be about (Virat) Kohli, will be about Shreyas Iyer, and will be about Mohammad Shami. But the 'genuine hero' of this Indian side, who has changed the culture of this Indian side is Rohit Sharma," Nasser Hussain said on Sky Sports.

Akram hails Rohit

Former Pakistan speedster Wasim Akram also hailed him for taking pressure off the Indian batters and putting it back on the opposition.

"It was a complete performance in every aspect of the game, Rohit's name doesn't come up that much because he didn't score a ton, but the way he starts, he scored 40 in 29 balls, 84 runs in the first 10 overs, that was the platform. Pressure goes on the opposition, four sixes and four boundaries," Wasim Akram said on A Sports.

Coming to the match, India opted to bat first and scored 397/4 in their 50 overs. Skipper Rohit Sharma (47 in 29 balls, with four boundaries and four sixes) and Shubman Gill (80 in 66 balls, with eight fours and three sixes) delivered a fine start with a 71-run opening stand.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell stitched up a partnership to pull the Kiwis back into the game. But Shami's seven-wicket haul left the Blackcaps without answers and India went on to register a 70-run victory.