‘Rohit has great timing, but nobody can match Kohli,’ Former Pakistan captain in awe of India’s star batting pair
India’s star batting pair of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma has left many former and current cricketers impressed, but the most recent entry to the list promises to mean a lot to them considering the fierce rivalry they and the Indian team have had with this man and his side. We’re talking about former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who led his team to high-profile matches against India at the 2017 Champions Trophy and the 2019 World Cup last year.
Even though Sarfaraz was stripped of Pakistan’s captaincy in all three formats in October last year, the wicketkeeper batsman has seen enough to determine who the No. 1 batsman in the world is. And despite there being some pretty good batters in world cricket in Kohli, Steve Smith, Joe Root and Kane Williamson, Sarfaraz has picked the India captain as the best in the world, while backing Rohit Sharma to be an equally effective force to reckon with.
“In today’s time, there should be no doubt, it is Virat Kohli who’s the world’s number 1 batsman,” Sarfaraz told CricTracker. “But, as I have told you before that when I have been behind the wicket, I have felt that although Rohit Sharma does not have that many runs in Test matches, the timing that he has is great. But the number one player in the world is definitely Virat Kohli. Nobody can match him.”
Sarfaraz’s captaincy may have dipped in the last few months of his stint, but what Pakistan achieved in T20s under him cannot be undermined. Since Sarfaraz’s appointment as captain in 2016, Pakistan won 11 T20I series in two years and even reached the pinnacle of the ICC rankings in the format. Looking back at the dominant run, Sarfraz credited the presence of youngsters in the team and explained how everyone worked together as a well-oiled machine.
“In 2016, I became captain for the first time and I had a lot of young boys with me, I had only one senior player and in between Hafeez bhai joined but unfortunately left soon. In my team, there were young boys and you know, you have played so many T20 matches, the same amount I have played too,” he said. “In the last 10 to 12 years, you have made at least two teams with 27-28 players. T20 cricket happens in Dubai and how fast it goes I have seen and experienced it.
“In T20 cricket, the point is that you play and win with young players the important part was our fielding. We won many matches that we were about to lose because of our fielding. You can bat and bowl, but for me, as a captain, I feel the main factor behind our success was our fielding.”