"Would Be Right In Their Face...": AB De Viliers Recalls His First Memory Of Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is currently leading India in the ongoing Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.
South Africa great AB de Villiers has showered his respect for Rohit Sharma, stating that the Indian skipper is a "fighter" and "never backs down to anyone". Rohit is currently leading India in the ongoing Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, where he has been their highest run-scorer, collecting 194 in four innings at an impressive average of 64.66 and a strike rate of 108.98, including three half-centuries. Talking on his YouTube channel, de Villiers highlighted how Rohit began slowly in the ODIs before becoming the fastest to gain 10,000 runs in the format.
"Rohit was fourth slowest to 2,000 runs, but the second fastest to 10,000. How's that for a comeback? I have a lot of respect for him," he said.
"The first time I watched him play, I thought this guy has got something special to offer. What I like most about him - from a very young age, he's always had a fighting spirit. He would not back down to anyone."
Rohit is the sixth Indian to enter the 10,000 ODI runs club after Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni and Rahul Dravid. He is also the second-fastest to do so after former skipper and current teammate Kohli.
De Villiers also recollected how Rohit took on fierce South African pacers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel during a Durban Test.
"I think of a Test match in Durban where he just wouldn't stand back to Dale Steyn or Morne Morkel or any of our fast bowlers. He would make eye contact," he said.
"If anyone chirped him, he would be right in their face, chest out. I always liked that." De Villiers also praised young India opener Shubman Gill, who has been on a roll at the Asia Cup alongside his opening partner and skipper Rohit.
"Very interestingly, he (Rohit) has had an incredible partnership with Shubman Gill. Two fighters at the crease is always a dangerous thing for the opposition.
"As an opening pair, they are averaging 87-odd (95) with a strike rate of 110. If they can do that for India in the World Cup...," he said.
Gill is the second-highest run-scorer for India in the tournament, amassing 154 runs in four innings at an average of 51.33, including a couple of fifties and a top knock of an unbeaten 67.
India will be playing Sri Lanka in the final in Colombo on Sunday.
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