Gautam Gambhir believes the impact of Rohit Sharma puts him ahead of Virat Kohli in white-ball cricket.
India’s former World Cup-winning opener picked Rohit ahead of captain Kohli despite the stats suggesting otherwise. Kohli has taken 54 fewer innings than Sachin Tendulkar to reach 11,000 ODI runs, including 43 centuries.
However, Rohit has smashed three double hundreds in ODI cricket and is the only player in history to have hit five tons at World Cups. It is that eye-catching impact that Gambhir has favoured.
“For me, white-ball cricket is all about impact,” Gambhir said in an interview with Sports Tak. “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.
“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 three ODI double hundreds, five World Cup hundreds [in one edition], and he is also the only player, who once he gets past 100-run mark, people say that he missed a double century. That speaks volumes about you.”
Dhoni must take some credit for Sharma success
Gambhir also believes that a lot of credit for Sharma’s success has to be credited to MS Dhoni. The former skipper was the man who promoted Rohit to opener.
He now has an average of 58.11 in one-day cricket compared to his previous stats of 31.72 before the move up the order.
“Where Rohit is today, it is because of MS Dhoni,” Gambhir added. “One good thing about MS was that he always kept Rohit in the talks. Even if he was not part of the team, he was always part of the group. He never let him get sidelined.
“It’s the backing of captain that makes or breaks a player. You can talk about the selection committee and team management, but if you do not have the backing from your captain, then 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.”