Dubai: Former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith believes Indian batsman Rohit Sharma has all the qualities and shots in him to be the next Virender Sehwag, who on Tuesday retired from all forms of international cricket.
Delhi-born Sehwag will play in the Masters Champions League (MCL), which he launched here on Monday with other stars like Brian Lara, Smith, Michael Vaughan -- a tournament to be held early next year for retired cricketers.(Dhoni Hails Sehwag)
"It is very difficult to replace players like Sehwag. He was a naturally attacking batsman and Rohit Sharma has shown that kind of flare in the series so far. It is all about combinations at the end of the day and how opening partners complement each other," Smith was quoted as saying by bcci.tv.('I Have Done What I Wanted to do')
"Rohit has got all the shots to be a Virender Sehwag. He has been dynamic, has got two double hundreds and already has a 150 to his name (in ongoing series against South Africa). He is a good player of spin and picks up fast bowling really well. India would like Shikhar Dhawan to find form and if that is sorted, then you have a good combination going."
The former left-handed batsman pointed out that Rohit might have scored big in home conditions but his main challenge will be when he plays abroad.
"His challenge is always going to be when he goes abroad to Australia or South Africa to adapt well to the harder and newer ball there. But he has certainly got all the strokes. He is confident in himself and his own game has grown immensely. He has been a beautiful player to watch on this tour," he said.
In a career spanning over 15 years in international cricket, Sehwag featured in 104 Tests and scored 8,586 runs at a staggering average of 49.34. In 251 One-Day Internationals (ODI), he amassed 8,273 runs at an average of 35.05.
When the Johannesburg-born was asked about Sehwag's specialty, he said, "If you think about Sehwag, he was really strong on the off-side and your margin for error was very less. He would hit deliveries on off-stump to backward point for four. He was a good player of spin and not afraid to take risks."
Smith also praised India's Test captain Virat Kohli, terming him as currently the best No.3 batsman in the world.
"Virat Kohli is the best No.3 in the world at the moment. He should bat there and that is completely my perspective. It is such a key position in one-day cricket. You want to be giving him as much time as possible to get in and win games for India," the 34-year-old said.
"Ajinkya Rahane is an outstanding player and he has shown that in his form. But I just think Virat is a different class player at the moment. Virat's form is very important for India. He is India's top batsman. We have seen that India have a lot more success when he does well."
Rohit Sharma to marry fiancée Ritika Sajdeh on December 13
Sachin Tendulkar is expected to come in the marriage ceremony.
Rohit Sharma with Ritika Sajdeh. Photo courtesy: DNA
Indian batsman Rohit Sharma will marry his fiancée Ritika Sajdeh on December 13, 2015. Ritika is also Rohit’s manager. The marriage ceremony will take place at a five star hotel in Bandra. The ceremony is expected to be a half day affair. Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar is expected to come in the wedding along with some former and current cricketers. A source close to Rohit told mid-day, “It is a good date and most importantly, there won’t be any cricketing commitments for Rohit as the Test series against South Africa ends on December 7. Preparations are on in full swing. The Indian team and Tendulkar will be present for the wedding,” said the source. VIDEO: Rohit Sharma with fiancee Ritika Sajdeh at GQ Awards 2015
Since India vs Pakistan 2015 series is doubtful, honeymoon is still not planned. Rohit and Ritika got engaged around six months back during the Indian Premier League (IPL). It was here that Rohit proposed Ritika at the Borivali ground. On this very ground Rohit had started playing cricket. Rohit drove the love of his life Ritika Sajdeh to Borivli Sports Club. Minutes after midnight, Rohit surprised Ritika with the big question, pulling out a beautiful solitaire ring. Ritika is a 28-year-sports manager and lives in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai. Rohit, who is currently playing in the South Africa series, was holidaying with Ritika in September in Africa. . The world record holder for the highest score in One-Day International (ODI), Rohit and Ritika have known each other for six years. Rohit Sharma can become next Virender Sehwag: Graeme Smith