Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Picture Credit: Getty

Last Update on: September 15th, 2023 at 12:06 pm

South Africa great AB de Villiers has heaped praise on India skipper Rohit Sharma for his ‘incredible fighting spirit’. His comments have come in the wake of Rohit Sharma’s impressive displays as captain and batsman in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023.

Rohit Sharma has led his team from the very front and has taken it to the final. India are now just one win away from lifting the Asia Cup for a record-extending eighth time. India are the only team who are yet to lose a game in the six-team competition.

In most of the games, he has given India a brilliant start with the bat. He is currently the leading run-scorer for India in the competition after scoring 194 runs in 4 games with the help of three fifties at an average of 65. He is the only player with more than 10 sixes in the competition. After failing to do well with the bat in the washed-out game against Pakistan, Rohit Sharma bounced back by scoring three fifties on the trot.

AB de Villers hails Rohit Sharma’s fighting spirit:

During the course of the Asia Cup 2023, Rohit Sharma also completed 10,000 runs in the 50-over format. Only Virat Kohli has achieved the feat faster than him. With Rohit Sharma in stunning form, he has received some big praise from AB de Villiers.

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Speaking on his YouTube channel, the former South Africa captain stated that the India star never bows down to anyone. AB de Villiers heaped praise on the batting star for the remarkable turnaround in his ODI career. He stated that while Rohit Sharma was the fourth slowest to score 2000 ODI runs, he is the second quickest to 10000 runs.

“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. 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,” said AB de Villiers.

Speaking further, AB de Villiers recalled a Test match in Durban where Rohit Sharma was up against the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. He recalled that no matter what was thrown at him by the former Proteas pacers, Rohit Sharma never backed down.

“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 him. He would right in their face, chest out. I always liked that. At that time, I didn’t enjoy it because he was there to beat us. But thinking back, he always had this incredible fighting spirit,” AB de Villiers said.

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“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,” he added.

Rohit Sharma would now be looking to lead India to glory in the Asia Cup. It would be his second Asia Cup title as a captain. He was the stand-in captain when India won the competition back in 2018. India would lock horns against Sri Lanka in the final on Sunday (September 17).