Rohit Sharma may have solved India's opening conundrum briefly with fireworks in the first Test against South Africa, still, it might not be the right time to compare the Hitman with legendary India opener Virender Sehwag, feels Robin Uthappa. The Karnataka domestic stalwart, who saw Rohit climb up ranks and becoming a household name after making his debut in the 2007 T20I World Cup, opined that the Indian vice-captain in white-ball cricket should remain keen on delivering the goods on foreign soil as well.
With KL Rahul staging below-par performances for Virat Kohli's men in the whites, the MSK Prasad-led selection committee went ahead with the plan of giving Rohit a chance in the longest format of the game. Accepting the opportunity with both hands, Rohit auditioned for the role as the opening partner for Mayank Agarwal and managed to pass the test in flying colours with a gritty knock on Day 1 of the ongoing Test between India and South Africa.
The explosive Indian batsman strengthened his case in red-ball cricket with his fourth century to power India towards a massive total. The 32-year-old along with opener Agarwal laid the foundation of mammoth first innings score as the opening pair registered a record-breaking partnership of 317 runs for the first wicket against the Proteas.
As Rohit successfully emerged as the quick-fix to solve India's top order woes, it's an inevitability that the current opener in whites might face comparison with Sehwag, who became a success story in Test cricket after regularly opening for India in the limited-overs format during his glittering career. Weighing the cases of Rohit and Sehwag in a Kolkata Knight Riders' event, Uthappa explained why it will be inappropriate to compare the Hitman with the 'demolisher' Sehwag.
"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," the former middle-order batsman was quoted as saying by news agency IANS. Rohit notched up a sublime individual score of 176 which was later bettered by Mayank Agarwal, who slammed his maiden double ton to power India towards 502 for seven in their first innings.