Currently, India captain Rohit and run-machine Virat are currently playing in the Asia Cup and the duo are on a run-making spree in the continental event, which is vital preparation for the Men in Blue for the upcoming ICC ODI World Cup, commencing on October 5.
Rohit, who turned 36 in April, is the highest run-getter in this edition of the Asia Cup so far with 194 runs in 4 matches at an average of 64.67. Meanwhile Indian batting maestro Virat, who will be turning 35 in November, has 129 runs so far in 4 matches at an average of 64.50.
Rohit Sharma enters 10000-run club and other records India made in just two Asia Cup matches
Virat also notched up his 47th century in ODIs recently and is just 2 centuries short of equalling and three short of breaking batting legend Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time record of 49 ODI tons, the most by any batsman in ODI history.
Before the Asia Cup started, TimesofIndia.com caught up with England batting legend Root, who has played 135 Tests, 160 ODIs, and 32 T20Is so far. Root spoke about Virat, and Rohit and their contribution to Indian cricket, MR 360 degree Suryakumar Yadav, and much more before the Asia Cup began….
The ODI World Cup will be played in India this year. With the T20 World Cup scheduled for next year, should Virat and Rohit focus on ODIs and Tests and make ways for youngsters in the mega tournament in 2024?
I think it’s very dangerous just to write off players like Virat and Rohit because of their age. Look at how long Chris Gayle, for example, played T20 cricket. Some of the best players in the world have gone longer, especially in T20 cricket, and have been wonderful with their performances. As long as you’re fit, you go on and play.
Jimmy Anderson is a perfect example you look at. He is over 40, he’s still performing exceptionally well. We’re very fortunate that we’ve not lost out on that because we think he’s too old. He’s still playing and he’s still leading our attack. And we’re using all that experience and skill to our advantage. We’re seeing him as a talent and ability and a wonderful player on his own.
It’s always dangerous when you start looking at – is it time for the end of a career? I think you’ve got to look at performances and what they bring to the team.
It will be very difficult to find replacements for Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in Team India. Any young players who you have in mind?
That’s very difficult to answer. That’s not for me to say. The two of them are wonderful players across all formats, leading players, and have both had to shoulder a lot of pressure for a number of years. When it comes to representing India, it’s impressive how consistent they’ve been for such a long period of time. And you know, as a fellow professional, you look at them, you look to learn and take lessons from their game.
World No.1 T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav is a nightmare for the bowlers in the shortest format of the game. He has often been compared with the likes of AB de Villiers and Kevin Pietersen…
SKY’s consistency is frightening. How he’s managed to score so many hundreds in a short space of time, especially in the position in the order that he bats and how quickly he’s done it. It’s been remarkable really. And he’s so difficult to bowl at because he hits it in such unusual areas. Any young kid who watches him would want to go and replicate it. It looks so much fun to do and to play.
Suryakumar Yadav (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
But he’s very smart about how he does it as well. He picks the ball well, he picks his gaps and he executes extremely well. He’s made himself into a wonderful T20 player. But guys like ABD, and Kevin Peterson, inspire generations and they inspire young players too.
For Virat, Sachin was a massive inspiration for him. That’s one of the greatest things in this sport at this level. You inspire young children to pick up a bat and a ball and want to go and do great things in the game. Same thing SKY is doing. A lot of youngsters are looking up to him and doing something different just like him.