Veteran cricketer Robin Uthappa on Monday heaped rich praise on India captain Virat Kohli and his deputy in limited-overs cricket, Rohit Sharma, praising the way these two approach the game based on the situation and format that they are playing in.
Both Rohit (2007) and Kohli (2008) made their international debuts at least a year later than Uthappa (2006) but the senior cricketer says that the way these two have batted over the years is inspiring to watch even for him.
“When I look at Rohit Sharma, I feel he has got eternity to play a ball. It just baffles you like where does he create that time. It’s amazing to watch and so effortless.
“Even Virat for that matter, when you watch him bat from one version of the game to another, you can see how clearly, he has planned for each version of the game,” Uthappa said on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.
He then went on to laud Kohli for the way he approaches the game as a batsman purely based on the format he is playing in.
Kohli is the only batsman in world cricket who averages over 50 in all three formats of the game and is even ranked No.1 in ODIs. He was on top the the Test rankings as well for a long time before being dethroned by Australia’s Steve Smith recently.
“In one-day cricket, he almost never hits the ball in the air, unless it’s completely required during the course of the game. Similarly, in Test cricket, he is only going to hit the ball in the air once he has passed 120 or 150. But in T20 cricket, he pulls out the big shots and his orthodox big shots that you don’t even think that he will play it, because you have seen him play so much of good cricket along the ground in ODI & Test cricket that you don’t anticipate him playing that.
“Suddenly, the bowlers have to plan for each version of the game. For me, someone like Virat, the way he approaches each version of the game is just phenomenal. It’s kind of inspiring, like what must be going through that mind for him to be able to concede those ideas and say, ‘Ok, these are my shots for T20 cricket, these are my shots for one-day cricket, and these are my shots for 5-day cricket. It’s just amazing,” Uthappa said.