Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. (Getty Images)
NEW DELHI: Every cricketing era has a “defining pair” which builds the narrative and the duo of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma is a special one for India in modern times, says Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara.
Kohli and Rohit have aggregated nearly 36,000 runs (35,930 runs) across three formats and Sangakkara feels the duo has the same aura which Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid had in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
“There is something very special about Virat and Rohit. That fact that rules have changed and run-scoring might have become slightly easier in one-day cricket, but it’s incredibly hard, the volume of cricket that India athletes play,” Sangakkara said on Star Sports’ ‘Cricket Connected’.
Sangakkara feels that Kohli and Rohit deserve the respect also for the fact that players from the bygone era didn’t have to constantly play three formats.
“So, I think you have to have a lot of respect for Rohit and Virat but understand that it’s all because of the players that have gone before and have done all the hard work then as well.
“So, it’s a knock-on effect, so in every era, there’s always a defining pair and in the modern era, it’s Rohit and Virat for India for sure.”
Sangakkara recollected the era of Dravid and Ganguly and drew a parallel with Kohli and Rohit where batsmen have been destructive despite being orthodox in their technique.
“If you look at Rahul and Dada, both of them are orthodox batsmen. They play beautiful cricket shots and are very technically correct. Dravid may be a little bit more so, but the ability to be as destructive with such rate and precision stroke-making is something that has to be really admired.”
“If you take the modern-day game, India has two of the best players in Virat and Rohit, who play orthodox cricket but who are just absolutely destructive in any format of the game. You don’t have to muscle the ball or put too much effort or look ugly doing it, they just play good cricket shots and results come,” he concluded.