Former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes, who has been associated with three-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians for a long time, has drawn similarities between Rohit Sharma and the legendary Jacques Kallis on the cricket field.
According to Rhodes, Rohit may appear to be a laid-back person, someone who may even fall ‘asleep’ while batting but he has traits which are similar to Kallis, which may not appear upfront.
“I have only played against Kohli as the fielding coaching of Mumbai Indians, ABD (AB de Villiers), I haven’t seen him as a captain at all. I can only speak with authority on Rohit Sharma,” said Jonty Rhodes, speaking to the official website of the ongoing T20 tournament Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).
“Rohit looks like a laid-back kind of guy. Remember Jacques Kallis saying how people were critical of his approach and he didn’t look like a guy who was trying.”
“He was a bit like a duck on water; you only see the duck above the water but underneath the feet are peddling to stay in place. He had a bit calm exterior, like Lance Klusener back in my day.
“It looked like everything is under control, but Jacques said he is fluttering hard and fast underneath and Rohit is like that too,” he added.
Rhodes continued, “When you watch him at the crease when he is batting it, looks like he will fall asleep but he cracks you for six, it is ridiculous! With the timing that he has. His captaincy is similar. He is not a firebrand like Kohli, which you need to be sometimes.”
The former South African, who played 52 Tests and 245 ODIs in a career spanning 11 years from 1992 to 2003, says there should not be any comparisons between captains.
“You got to be yourself; you can’t be another Sachin Tendulkar. Virat cannot be another MSD (MS Dhoni); totally different kind of characters, totally different personalities and I think maybe that is one thing that differentiates ABD,” he said.
“He is been quite a nice guy and hasn’t done anything different whereas Dhoni has been a street-smart guy like nobody else I have seen. Kohli is a bit fired up which is fine as long as the team wins.
“But my only concern is what if the team isn’t performing? Where will that energy of hi-fi-ing, fist-pumping be let out? Team is taking wickets, they are winning, he is scoring runs but what happens when it is not happening. But totally different personalities,” said Rhodes, when quizzed about Rohit and Kohli as captains.
Rhodes said staying true to your personality is important for any leader. “The key with any successful captain is that you have to stay true to that personality. I have had Kepler Wessels, Hansie Cronje and Shaun Pollock as my captains; totally different captains and totally different men.”