When Chris Gayle demolishes bowling attacks or Rohit Sharma pulls the fast bowler off his front deep into the stands or when AB de Villiers nonchalantly scoops and reverse sweeps to collect boundaries easily, they look terrific. Gayle, Rohit, and de Villiers, after all, are the modern-day greats and stalwarts of limited-overs cricket. But when it comes to consistently scoring in the shortest format of the game, even they can’t match the level of Virat Kohli, feels former India opener Gautam Gambhir.
Hailing Kohli as one of the best batsmen in limited-overs cricket, Gambhir, said the Indian captain scores over the likes of Gayle, Rohit, and de Villiers because of his ability to rotate the strike of almost every ball even in the shortest format of the game.
Speaking at Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected chat show, Gambhir explained why Kohli is different from India’s limited-overs skipper Rohit Sharma. “That’s why he’s (Virat Kohli) different from the rest. You look at Rohit Sharma. He does not have the quality which Virat Kohli has, of rotating the strike. Rohit Sharma has those big shots, but that’s why Virat is more consistent than Rohit,” said Gambhir.
“Chris Gayle doesn’t have that ability to rotate the strike, AB de Villiers doesn’t have the ability to rotate strike off each delivery against spin-bowling, Virat Kohli has that, and that’s why he averages over 50,” said Gambhir.
Virat Kohli, who is the No.10 ranked T20 batsman in the ICC rankings by Pakistan’s Babar Azam, is also the only player who averages over 50 in all formats of the game currently.
“People do not give a lot of importance to dot balls. If you play fewer dot balls, you can reduce a lot of pressure. The easiest thing to do in cricket is a six or a four. Because ultimately, you are playing that high-risk shot. If it comes off, everyone loves it. If it doesn’t come off, you’ll probably be back in the pavilion. But there are very few cricketers in world cricket who can rotate the strike off every bowl. That’s what Virat Kohli does really well,” Gambhir said.