Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has picked Rohit Sharma over his captain Virat Kohli as the more impactful batsman of the two in limited-overs cricket. Gambhir, who has played with both, believes that although Kohli is ahead in stats such as runs and centuries, Rohit pips him as the best white-ball cricketer currently. Also Read - Virat Kohli's Reaction to Anushka Sharma's Sun-Kissed Instagram Post is Unmissable
“For me white-ball cricket is all about impact. Kohli will end up getting many more runs than Rohit, and Kohli is among the greatest right now, but Rohit has an edge over Kohli because of the impact he has,” Gambhir told Sports Tak. Also Read - Really Can't Compare Virat Kohli And Rohit Sharma, They Complement Each Other: Brad Hogg
“I think he (Rohit) is the best white-ball cricketer in the world right now. He is not the greatest overall but at the moment he is the best. He is the only player to have hit 3 ODI double hundreds, 5 World Cup hundreds (in one edition) and he is also the only player, who once gets past 100-run mark, people say that he missed a double century.” Also Read - Two Occasions When Hardik Pandya Felt His International Career is Over
Refraining from comparing India’s two most premier batsmen, Gambhir feels Rohit takes the cake for his daddy hundreds, while Kohli can always be questioned for not going further after his century. Rohit has three ODI double-centuries, while Kohli’s highest score is 183, which he scored eight years ago against Pakistan in the 2012 Asia Cup. Besides, Kohli is yet to score a hundred in T20Is, while Rohit has crossed the 100-run mark four times, the first to get those many.
“It is very difficult to compare both of them. Virat Kohli is unbelievable. His stats prove that. But when your reputation is such that when you get out after a hundred, people say he has missed out on double hundred, that speaks volumes about you,” Gambhir pointed out.
Gambhir did not miss out mentioning the contribution of MS Dhoni behind Rohit’s rise. It was under Dhoni’s captaincy in 2013 that Rohit began opening the innings for India and realised he belongs there. As an opener, Rohit has piled 7148 runs at an average of 58.11. Before his transformation as a limited-overs opener, Rohit’s numbers were underwhelming, scoring 1978 runs from 81 innings.
It was under Dhoni that Rohit made his ODI, Tests and T20I debut, and Gambhir credited the former India skipper for never leaving having faith in the batsman.
“Where Rohit is today, it is because of MS Dhoni. One good thing about MS was that he always kept Rohit in the talks, even if was not part of the team, he was always part of the group. He never let him get sidelined,” Gambhir said.
“You can talk about the selection committee and team management, but if you do not have the backing from your captain than it is all useless. Everything is in the hands of the captain. How MS Dhoni had backed Rohit Sharma over a period of time, I do not think any player has been given such support.”
Gambhir reckons the time has come for Rohit to undergo a role reversal of sorts and like Dhoni, it is his turn to nurture the promising youngsters.
“Rohit is the prime example of how a player’s fortunes can turn around if he is nurtured by the seniors. I hope the young cricketers in the current generation, be it Shubman Gill or Sanju Samson, they also get similar kind of support. And now when Rohit is a senior, I expect him to back youngsters,” he explained.