Mumbai: Former England captain Nasser Hussain has hailed skipper Rohit Sharma as the "real hero" for changing the culture of this Indian side by playing "fearless cricket" in the ongoing World Cup.
India faced the flak for playing timid cricket during the last two T20 World Cups where they failed to cross the Super-12 stages in 2021 and were blown away by England in the semifinal in the last edition.
However, India have been relentless this World Cup as they reached their first final in 12 years on the back of 10 wins on the bounce, the latest being their 70-run hammering of New Zealand in the semifinal on Wednesday.
"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," Hussain said on Sky Sports.
"Dinesh Karthik was with the side when India played England in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup in Adelaide, where they played meek, timid cricket, got a below-par score and England knocked them off by 10 wickets. He told DK that we gonna have to change."
The semifinal win was set up by Virat Kohli's record-breaking 50th ODI hundred and Shreyas Iyer's 70-ball 105 as India posted a massive 397 for 4 and returned to dismiss New Zealand for 327, riding on Mohammed Shami's 7 for 57.
India's batting unit has played attacking cricket with skipper Rohit leading from the front all throughout the tournament with his aggressive batting setting the platform.
On Wednesday too, Rohit smashed four sixes and four fours in his 29-ball 47 to give India a flying start.
"I think that the real hero today was Rohit," Hussain said.
"Group stage is different and knockout stage is different and the skipper showed everyone and showed his dressing room that they are going to play fearless cricket in the knockouts as well, Rohit Sharma sent a clear message with the approach." India will face the winner of the second semifinal between South Africa and Australia on Sunday.