Rohit Sharma over Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar for India's greatest ever: Veteran Pakistan pacer's blunt take
The former Pakistan fast bowler feels that Rohit Sharma has to be put on a higher pedestal than Virat Kohli or Sachin Tendulkar.
India's star players all had fantastic campaigns for much of the 2023 World Cup but the team ended up falling at the final hurdle when they lost the title clash to Australia by six wickets. India were considered outright favourites to win the trophy going into the final considering they had thrashed every team they faced before that.
The form that senior batters Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli hit were integral to their hot run through the tournament. Kohli scored three centuries and in the process, broke Sachin Tendulkar's longstanding record for most tons in ODI cricket. He also became the first player to score 50 centuries in the format. Later, Kohli also broke Tendulkar's record for most runs in a single World Cup campaign, scoring as many as 765 runs in the 11 matches.
Rohit scored just one century but he stood out as much as Kohli due to the way he scored his runs. He ended as the tournament's second highest scorer with 597 runs and that came at a strike rate of 125.94. Many commentators often put the starts that Rohit gave India as the most important factor behind their victories and now, veteran Pakistan fast bowler Junaid Khan feels that the India captain deserves to be put above Kohli and Tendulkar as India's greatest ever batter.
“According to me, it’s Rohit Sharma. The way he bats, he has all kinds of shots in his book. That’s why he is called the Hitman," said Junaid on the Nadir Ali Podcast. Junaid pointed out that the fact that Rohit has scored the number of double centuries he has and holds the record for most sixes for the team in ODI cricket proves his greatness. Rohit is the only player to have scored three double centuries in men's ODIs, including 173-ball 264 against Sri Lanka in 2014 that remains the highest-ever score in an ODI match. During the 2023 World Cup, he surpassed for most sixes in international cricket.
“Scoring 264 in an ODI, making 2 more double hundreds is a task in itself. When you do it time and again, it means you have the quality. He has hit the most sixes as well for India. So, my vote is with Rohit,” said Junaid, who played 22 Test matches, 76 ODIs and nine T20Is for Pakistan between 2011 and 2019.
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