Pakistan great Wasim Akram declares Rohit Sharma is better than Virat Kohli, Babar Azam

The 'sultan of swing' went on to compare India's captain to former batting legend Inzamam-ul-Haq

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India's captain Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between India and Netherlands. Photo: AFP
India's captain Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between India and Netherlands. Photo: AFP

Published: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 11:07 AM

Legendary Pakistan bowler Wasim Akram has only good things to say about India captain Rohit Sharma. The opening batter pulled off a blistering knock of 61 off 54 balls in the final World Cup group stage fixture against the Netherlands on Sunday. Rohit’s power-packed innings comprised eight boundaries and two sixes. The skipper and Shubman Gill stitched an opening partnership of 100 to set up a solid foundation for the hosts.

Talking about the World Cup fixture, Akram confessed that Rohit is better than Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Babar Azam. The 'sultan of swing' went on to compare Rohit to former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.

"Rohit and Gill put on 91 runs in 10 overs. The game was over then only. I don’t think there is anyone like Rohit Sharma in World cricket. We talk about emperor Kohli (Virat), Joe Root, Williamson (Kane), Babar Azam but this guy is different. He makes batting look so easy. No matter what the situation is, the bowling attack is, he plays his shots with ease. He changes the tempo of the game. Bowlers and oppositions are on the back foot from ball one," Akram was heard saying during a show on A Sports, a Pakistani sports channel.

"Like Inzamam, Rohit too has a lot of time against the pacers. His hand-eye coordination is so natural," the 57-year-old added.

Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik, who was also at the extra panel, agreed with Akram. “Rohit is that kind of a batter, who will go at all the five bowlers of the opposition team. Rest what Wasim bhai has spoken about the other batters, they will not go against all five, they sometimes wait for the part-timers as well, but not Rohit,” Malik explained.

Rohit has scored 503 runs at an average of 55.88 in the World Cup. He currently enjoys a sensational strike rate of 121.49 in the competition. He is also the fourth-highest run scorer of the tournament. The Indian captain has notched one century and three half-centuries at the cricket carnival.

The captain and Shubman’s splendid batting guided India to a mammoth total of 410 against the Netherlands on Sunday. Later, Rohit also decided to roll his arm and picked up the wicket of Dutch batter Teja Nidamanuru. Chasing 411, the Netherlands folded for 250.

In their next outing, India will be up against New Zealand in the semi-finals on Wednesday, November 15.

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