Former Sri Lankan captains Sanath Jayasuriya and Arjuna Ranatunga have praised India's batting strength after their string of good performances in 2013. India have won six consecutive ODI series, including the ICC Champions Trophy in England in June. However, the 1996 World Cup-winning captain, Ranatunga, feels bowling remains India's main weak link and a lot of work needs to be done before the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday night at a function in Mumbai, Jayasuria, who has played 445 ODIs, said India's batting was one of the strongest in the world and Rohit Sharma has made a great impact on top of the order.
"Rohit has always had potential but India is utilizing him well at the top of the order and he has responded really well," Jayasauriya said.
Rohit Sharma rocketed into the world top 20 with consistent performances, including a double century (209) against Australia in Bangalore. The 26-year-old Mumbaikar went into the history books by becoming the third Indian to hit a double century in ODI cricket, emulating Sachin Tendulkar (200) and Virender Sehwag (219). Sharma's domination can be gauged from the fact that he struck a world record 16 sixes at M Chinnaswamy Stadium against a quality attack. He erased the record of 15 sixes clubbed by Shane Watson against Bangladesh.
In 25 ODIs this year, Rohit has 1159 runs at an average of 55.19. Former India greats Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri have already said that the Mumbai Indians' captaincy transformed his career for the better but Jayasuriya says scoring a double ton in ODIs is no big deal these days as their's nothing for bowlers to cheer about.
"It's lot easier now to get 200 in fifty-overs cricket with the new ODI rules and I am not in favor of two new balls in ODIs," Jayasuriya added.
Another former skipper Ranatunga is highly impressed with the way Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Indian side has dominated the world cricket this year. "Indian batting looks good but bowling is weak as far as their preparations for 2015 World Cup goes," Ranatunga said.