"He has taken full command of the Indian batting since he started opening" - Irfan Pathan lauds Rohit Sharma
Irfan Pathan has lauded Rohit Sharma for being one of India's batting mainstays since he started opening in ODI cricket.
Rohit smashed 101 runs off 85 deliveries as the Men in Blue set a mammoth 386-run target for New Zealand in the third ODI in Indore on Tuesday, January 24. Their bowlers then bowled out the visitors for 295 to complete a convincing 90-run win in the dead rubber.
"He has taken full command of the Indian batting since he started opening, either through a good average or with the approach he has changed in the last one to one-and-a-half years - with a good strike rate. So he is continuously contributing. A century has come after three years and 10,000 runs will also come."
The former Indian all-rounder highlighted that he was always confident that a century was around the corner for the opener, saying:
"I am saying this from the first day when I was asked whether Rohit Sharma should play big knocks. I had full faith that it will come one day or the other because he was looking very good when he was batting."
Rohit last scored an ODI century against Australia in Bengaluru in January 2020. Although the Indian skipper scored five half-centuries in the intervening period, he failed to reach the three-figure mark.
"It might have taken three years but he is a great player" - Irfan Pathan on Rohit Sharma
Pathan added that Rohit might not have scored a century in the last three years but always seemed to be at the top of his game, elaborating:
"He was hitting shots on the up, playing the square cuts and pulls, and was looking extremely confident. When a batter is in form, the big knock definitely comes, you just have to wait for a little while. It might have taken three years but he is a great player."
The cricketer-turned-commentator also pointed out that the Mumbai batter has an impressive record all across the globe, stating:
"He has equaled Ricky Ponting's 30 ODI centuries. Even in his (Ponting's) country, he (Rohit) has an average of around 53, which is a huge number, and has scored five hundreds also there. He has an average of 64 in England as well. So he has scored runs everywhere and we have seen him scoring runs in India regularly in any case."
Rohit has amassed 9782 runs at an excellent average of 48.91 in 241 ODIs. He has an even better record as an opener, having smashed 7764 runs at an average of 56.26 in 156 innings.