Former South African player AB de Villiers has referred to Rohit Sharma’s fighting spirit as the quality he admires the most in the Indian captain. However, he said that from a very young age, the Indian batter never believed in backing down as well. However, Rohit recently became the second-fastest batter to score 10,000 runs in ODI cricket and took 241 innings to reach the landmark only after his teammate Virat Kohli (205 innings) as well.
In a Q & A session on the 360 Show, De Villiers hailed Rohit for this stunning show. He said, “Rohit was fourth slowest to 2000 runs, but the second fastest to 10000. How’s that for a comeback. I have a lot of respect for him. The first time I watched him play, I thought this guy has got something special to offer. What I like most about him – from a very young age, he’s always had a fighting spirit. He would not back down to anyone.”
AB de Villiers also recalled an incident from a Test in Durban where Rohit Sharma played brilliantly against the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. In 248 ODIs, Rohit has scored 10,031 runs at an average of 48.93 and a strike rate of 90.27, with 30 centuries and 51 half-centuries as well.
He further added, “I think of a Test match in Durban where he just wouldn’t stand back to Dale Steyn or Morne Morkel or any of our fast bowlers. He would make eye contact. If anyone chirped him. He would right in their face, chest out. I always liked that. At that time, I didn’t enjoy it because he was there to beat us. But thinking back, he always had this incredible fighting spirit.”
“Very interestingly, he has had an incredible partnership with Shubman Gill. Two fighters at the crease is always a dangerous thing for the opposition. As an opening pair, they are averaging 87-odd (95) with a strike rate of 110. If they can do that for India in the World Cup. They’ve been great in the Asia Cup. There are a couple of big games coming up, obviously the final. Heading into the World Cup, to show this kind of form and to have these kind of starts in the World Cup, will boast really well for India considering that their bowling attack looks on fire at the moment,” AB de Villiers concluded.