“The first time I watched him play…”: AB de Villiers Disclosed What He Admires Most About Rohit Sharma

Indian cricket’s vice-captain Rohit Sharma has been in outstanding form during the ongoing Asia Cup 2023, notching up impressive performances and achieving a significant milestone. His remarkable journey to 10,000 runs in One Day Internationals (ODIs) has garnered praise from former South African cricketer AB de Villiers. 

During the Super 4 stage clash against Sri Lanka, Rohit Sharma achieved a monumental milestone by becoming the sixth Indian cricketer to score 10,000 runs in ODIs. This remarkable feat puts him in an elite club of cricketers who have reached this milestone, and Rohit accomplished it with great distinction.

What makes Rohit Sharma’s achievement even more noteworthy is the speed at which he reached this milestone. He is second only to his Indian teammate, Virat Kohli, in terms of the pace at which he accumulated 10,000 runs in ODIs. Rohit surpassed cricketing legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, Brian Lara, Chris Gayle, MS Dhoni, and India’s current coach, Rahul Dravid, in this regard.

Former South African cricket captain AB de Villiers praised Rohit Sharma for his remarkable comeback in ODIs. He highlighted the fact that Rohit was initially one of the slowest to reach 2,000 runs but made an extraordinary journey to become the second fastest to 10,000. De Villiers expressed his respect and admiration for Rohit’s determination and ability to bounce back.

“Rohit was fourth slowest to 2000 runs, but the second fastest to 10000. How’s that for a comeback? I have a lot of respect for him,” ABD said on his YouTube channel.

AB de Villiers recalled the first time he watched Rohit play and noted that he immediately recognized Rohit’s special talent. He particularly admired Rohit’s indomitable fighting spirit, which he displayed from a young age. De Villiers reminisced about a Test match in Durban where Rohit fearlessly faced the formidable pace duo of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, refusing to back down and always maintaining eye contact with the opposition.

“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. 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 if anyone chirped at him. He would be right in their face, chest out. I always liked that.” the Pretoria-born added.

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De Villiers also praised the partnership between Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, describing them as a formidable opening combination that poses a significant threat to opposing teams. The duo recently became the fastest Indian pair to reach 1000 partnership runs, achieving this milestone in just 13 innings. De Villiers acknowledged their fighting spirit and their potential to shine in upcoming tournaments, including the World Cup.

“Very interestingly, he 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,” De Villiers added further.

AB de Villiers’ admiration for Rohit’s fighting spirit and determination underscores the significance of his achievements. As Rohit continues to lead India with distinction, cricket enthusiasts eagerly await more remarkable feats from the vice-captain and his dynamic partnership with Shubman Gill.

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