I have always paralleled Rohit Sharma with Rahul Dravid, and Virat Kohli with Sachin Tendulkar. The former is a technical spectacle, delightful to watch. The latter, though, is a well-established player who touts an edge due to an appealing personality.
(Courtesy: The Indian Express)
Certainly, when it comes to technique and class, Rohit Sharma might very well be the best in the world. However, when it comes to “being the best batsman”, a lot comes into play aside from the technique. It includes how calculative are you in scoring runs, how do you bond with your partner on the other side, how you blend your style to the situation of the match and, above all, the way you psychologically affect your rivals.
For instance, when Sachin Tendulkar was in his prime, the other team would only focus on him and plan to take him out. They believed that once Tendulkar is out, the whole team will be out. That’s the kind of psychological impact he had on the opponents.
MS Dhoni had (and still has) that kind of psychological impact where the other team doesn’t want him to bat till the end. Because they know, if that happens, there’s a good chance that Dhoni might ***** away the victory.
(Courtesy: The Sports Rush)
Currently, Virat Kohli has that psychological impact on the rival teams. He’s the star; he’s the focal of all attention. Not because he’s the “best batsman” technically—it’s because he has an all-round personality that makes him impactful.
Yes, Rohit Sharma (again) scored a mammoth 162 runs in just 137 balls in the 4th ODI against WI. And yes, Virat Kohli was out under 20 runs. But you cannot base such figures to be conclusive in who’s the best batsman.
Rohit Sharma has better technical prowess (and so does Ajinkya Rahane). But when it comes to an all-around, impactful batsman, Virat Kohli takes that spot (just like MS Dhoni was at #1 a few years back).
In the end, stop comparing and be happy that Indian team has two of the best batsmen in the world. And hopefully, they will row India’s boat to the shore with another victory in 5th ODI against WI to ***** the five-match series with a 3-1 lead.