Kolkata, Oct 3 (IANS) The call to open the batting came at the right time for Rohit Sharma, feels veteran batsman Robin Uthappa. Uthappa saw Rohit make his T20 debut during the inaugural 2007 World T20 which M.S. Dhoni’s men won and Uthappa feels Rohit should now look to replicate the show on foreign soil.
“He has always done well in India and abroad. In white-ball cricket, he dominates the scene right now. He is arguably one of the best batsmen in the world,” Uthappa told IANS on the sidelines of Kolkata Knight Riders’ Plant A 6 Campaign.
“Given that situation, he must be going through a huge surge in confidence. He has reached a point in his career where he understands his batting really well and he knows what works for him and how to approach him.
“I think he has figured out opening the batting and this opportunity came at the right moment for Rohit to capitalise on it. So it’s not a surprise that he is successful,” said the 33-year old who was a key member of India’s 2007 World T20 winning team.
KKR batsman Uthappa scored 6 as Rohit made his T20 debut against England in the World T20, a game best remembered for Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes as India won by 18 runs. Rohit had also made his ODI debut in 2007 and did not look back from there on to become one of the best batsmen in white-ball cricket.
While Rohit slammed 176 in the first Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam, fellow opener Mayank Agarwal hit his first double hundred (215) in Test cricket.
Speaking on Mayank, who Uthappa has seen from his formative years while playing for Karnataka, he said: “It augurs extremely well for him that he has got a double hundred. It’s nice in a way to get his first 100 in India.
“He is a much improved batsman. I remember we were contemplating dropping him from the Karnataka game and when R. Vinay Kumar gave him a push, he scored a triple hundred and he did not look back from there.
“He will only get better with more opportunities. This will do his confidence a lot of good,” said Uthappa who is a former Karnataka skipper but joined Kerala this year as a professional guest player and has been entrusted to lead the side in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Asked about Rohit being compared to destructive former India opener Virender Sehwag, Uthappa said: “It’s not right to compare. He has his own style of batting. They are both aggressive that’s the common thread. Viru pa was more a demolisher of the ball while Rohit caresses it. The way they go about dealing with bowlers is vastly different but the aggressive nature in the common factor.”
KKR and Meer Foundation extended the efforts to plant 209 saplings. Till last year, it was only the number of sixes hit at Eden Gardens to the number of saplings planted. To maximise the efforts, this year, KKR made it wickets + sixes which came to 209.
The first batch of those 209 saplings were planted on Thursday at the Heritage School by Juhi Chawla Mehta, Uthappa and pacers Sandeep Warrier and Prasidh Krishna.