Are Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma the new Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid?

Published: Jun 02, 2020, 10:44 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Sangakkara and Uthappa say Dravid and Ganguly are orthodox and Virat and Rohit have a similar approach with the ability to be destructive

A collage of Virat-Rohit and Ganguly-Dravid. Pictures/ AFP
A collage of Virat-Rohit and Ganguly-Dravid. Pictures/ AFP

Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara & Robin Uthappa express their views on Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma as one of the world’s best batsmen of the modern game while also speaking highly of Indian legends Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, whose batting exploits were carefully watched and followed by Virat & Rohit.

Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Kumar Sangakkara said, “If you look at Rahul and Dada, both of them are orthodox batsmen. They play beautiful cricket shots and are very technically correct, Dravid may be a little bit more so, but the ability to be as destructive with such rate and precision stroke-making is something that has to be really admired. If you take the modern-day game, India has two of the best players in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who play orthodox cricket but who are just absolutely destructive in any format of the game. You don’t have to muscle the ball or put too much effort or look ugly doing it, they just play good cricket shots and results come.”

Robin Uthappa further added, “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. 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.”

In the end, Sangakkara added, “There is something very special about Virat and Rohit. That fact that rules have changed and maybe run-scoring might have become slightly easier in one-day cricket, but the fact remains that to be so consistent across all formats, he’s so consistent in T20 cricket. It’s incredibly hard, the volume of cricket that India athletes plays. So, I think you have to have a lot of respect for Rohit and Virat but understand that it’s all because of the players that have gone before and have done all the hard work then as well. So, it’s a knock-on effect, so in every era, there’s always a defining pair and in the modern era, its Rohit and Virat for India for sure.”

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