Dhoni helped Rohit Sharma blossom in limited-overs cricket - Gautam Gambhir

“Where Rohit Sharma is today, it is because of M. S. Dhoni,” says Gambhir, the former India opener.

Rohit Sharma was described by Gautam Gambhir as “the best white-ball cricketer in the world.”   -  AP

Rohit Sharma’s meteoric rise in limited-overs cricket can be attributed to former captain M. S. Dhoni, former India opener Gautam Gambhir has said.

Since making his debut in 2007, Rohit was languishing in the middle-order with consistency being his main issue. Dhoni seemingly took note of Rohit’s hidden talent and gave him a long rope. He then promoted Rohit as opener in 2013 and that move worked wonders for him as the right-hander has gone on to become one of the most lethal top-order batsmen in white-ball cricket.

“Where Rohit Sharma is today, it is because of M. S. Dhoni,” Gambhir told Sports Tak.

Backing from the captain

“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 Dhoni backed Rohit Sharma over a period of time, I don’t think any other player has been given such support,” he added.

 

Earlier, Gambhir had described Rohit as the best white-ball cricketer in the world. In his birthday wish for Rohit, Gambhir wrote: “Happy Birthday to the best white-ball cricketer in the world Rohit Sharma! Have a great year ahead!!”

“Don’t know about that Gauti bhai. But loving your work,” Rohit responded to the high praise from his former team-mate.

PTI adds:

Gambhir feels Rohit has been able to have more impact in white-ball cricket compared to Virat Kohli.

”For me white-ball cricket is all about impact. 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,” Gambhir said.

“I think [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 gets past 100-run mark, people say that he missed a double century.”

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Talking further about Kohli and Rohit, Gambhir said, “It is very difficult to compare both of them. Virat Kohli is unbelievable. His stats prove that. But when your reputation is such that when you get out after a hundred, people say he has missed out on double hundred, that speaks volumes about you.”

Gambhir said Kohli and Rohit should groom youngsters in the current team in the same way Dhoni groomed them.

“Rohit is the prime example of how a player’s fortunes can turn around if he is nurtured by the seniors. I hope the young cricketers in the current generation, be it Shubman Gill or Sanju Samson, they also get similar kind of support. And now when Rohit is a senior, I expect him to back youngsters.”

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