Virat Kohli doesn't have the talent Rohit Sharma has: Imam-ul-Haq

Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq rated Rohit Sharma as a more talented batter than Virat Kohli, adding that the India all-format captain can “hit at will” when set.
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Rohit Sharma became the first Indian batter to smash 250 ODI sixes earlier this week.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma - two of modern-day greats - often get compared to each other among the cricketing fraternity. In terms of style of play, Kohli has been a predominantly front-foot player, his extra-cover drive being a trademark stroke, while Rohit is known to be blessed with timing, and known as one of the finest players of the pull-shot.

In an interesting call, Imam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan opening batter, rated Rohit as a more talented player than Kohli, citing the former’s supreme timing.

“I feel that the talent Rohit Sharma has, Virat Kohli does not. I have seen them both play but the way Rohit plays, it feels as if he is batting in replay. He has plenty of time," Imam said on SAMAA News. 

Imam is currently ranked second in the ICC ODI batting rankings, followed by Rohit and Kohli at No. 3 and 4 in a chart led by Babar Azam. The left-hander, who recently achieved a record of seven consecutive ODI fifties, a sequence bettered only by Javed Miandad, added that Rohit has been “gifted a lot of time by God.”

"The first time I realised the true meaning of timing because I mostly field at point and I get to know. Virat Kohli has batted in front of me, so has Rohit Sharma but Rohit has been gifted a lot of time by God. He is one player who can change the game in seconds. When he is set, he can hit at will."

Rohit scored an unbeaten 76 off 58, including six fours and five sixes, in India’s 10-wicket win in the first of three ODIs against England at The Oval on Tuesday, July 14. The India captain became the first Indian player to hit 250 sixes during the knock, and his tally is only bettered by Shahid Afridi, Chris Gayle and Sanath Jayasuriya at present.

Kohli, meanwhile, missed the game due to a groin injury, and is still a doubtful started for the second ODI at Lord’s on Thursday, July 14. He has been rested for India's upcoming tour of the West Indies featuring three ODIs and five T20Is.