'It's a quality Sachin had too': Harbhajan compares India youngster to Tendulkar, rates him as high as Kohli, Rohit
Former spinner Harbhajan Singh has reserved massive praise for India's 22-year-old batter, comparing him to Sachin Tendulkar and placing him at the same level as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
The legendary Sachin Tendulkar, along with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are three of the biggest batting superstars in the history of Indian cricket. Their stardom is unmatched in terms of fan popularity and records. While Tendulkar was the quintessential poster boy of Indian cricket from the 1990s to 2010, Rohit and Kohli have taken world cricket by storm in the current era. As for the next generation of Indian cricketers, the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill etc. have what it takes to make it big. But will they taste the kind of success Tendulkar, Rohit or Kohli did is something only time will answer.
Having said that, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has reserved a huge compliment for India's young batting sensation Gill. The 22-year-old youngster, whom Harbhajan has observed from closer quarters while playing for Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, scored his maiden century for India against Zimbabwe during the third ODI of the series at Harare, finally notching up a three-figure score after coming close on a few occasions. Gill missed a Test century in Brisbane 2021, when he was dismissed for 91 against Australia, and more recently in the West Indies, when he was stranded on 98 not out.
In the previous two series, Gill has shown tremendous consistency, scoring over 400 runs in nine innings at a healthy average, and it was only fitting that the youngster broke the jinx and slammed his maiden ton. Gill's exploits have impressed Harbhajan to an extent that the former India spinner did not hesitate in placing him in the same category as Rohit and Kohli.
"He's a sorted batsman, who has a sound technique, and very good shot selection. In terms of quality of batsmanship, I would bracket him with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul in the current Indian team. You love to watch them bat," he told Times of India.
During his knock of 130 off 97 balls, an innings that was laced with 15 fours and one six, Gill broke a long-standing 24-year record by the one and only Sachin Tendulkar. Gill's 130 is now the highest individual score by an Indian in an ODI in Zimbabwe, surpassing Tendulkar's 127 not out in Bulawayo 1998. On that note, Harbhajan went a step further and noticed a trait in Gill, which he feels the great Tendulkar had as well.
"The good thing about him is that he's hungry for success. Few batsmen these days feel bad when they're not scoring runs. He's one of those characters. He feels he is letting the team down when he's in poor form. It's a quality one must have. It's a quality that Tendulkar too had," added Harbhajan.