Rohit Sharma names toughest bowler he's faced: 'Not nightmares, but watched his videos 100 times before going to bat' | Crickit

Rohit Sharma names toughest bowler he's faced: 'Not nightmares, but watched his videos 100 times before going to bat'

May 15, 2024 04:20 PM IST

India captain Rohit Sharma named the bowler that troubled him the most, and the name shouldn't come as a surprise.

Rohit Sharma is a modern-day great. There are no two ways about it. A fierce batter, a stupendous opener, and one of India's finest captains, Rohit, despite a slow start to his career, has established himself as an all-time great. The only batter to hit three ODI double centuries, Rohit has never looked back since he was promoted as an opener. However, like every great batter, Rohit has shortcomings, too. For a batter with over 18,000 international runs, one would assume that nothing can trouble him. Right?

Rohit Sharma is clean bowled.(AFP)
Rohit Sharma is clean bowled.(AFP)

Wrong. Rohit, on being asked if there's ever been a bowler that has given him nightmares, played down the terms but named South Africa great Dale Steyn as someone he's had trouble facing. Steyn, one of the world's most legendary pacers of all time, let alone South Africa, was indeed one of the most fearsome bowlers. Outside of his pace, accuracy and swing, the intimidation factor generated by him is what Steyn one of the most unique fast bowlers of his time. And Rohit, who faced him up front several times, had no shame in admitting it.

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"I have gone and watched his videos like 100 times before I went in to bat. That was Dale Steyn. He is an absolute legend of the game. And what he has achieved in his career is just superb to watch. And I have faced him many times. He is quick. He used to swing the ball at that pace, which is not easy. It is quite tough. And he was a fierce competitor. He just went out there wanting to do everything, to win every game and every session, so it was nice to come up against him. ," Rohit said in an interaction with Dubai Eye 103.8.

Dale Steyn dismissed Rohit Sharma just once in international cricket

However, as strange as it may sound, Steyn dismissed Rohit just once in international cricket – at a Boxing Day Test for a duck – but the Proteas pacer bowled some memorable spells against the India opener. The one that comes to mind is when Rohit and Steyn came up against one another during India's tour of South Africa in 2013. Steyn, with the new ball, was all over Rohit, beating him six balls in an over on the bouncy pitches of South Africa. The face-offs against Steyn came at a time in Rohit's career when he was yet to hit his peak. By the time Rohit transformed into a limited-overs beast, Steyn was on the last leg of his career.

This isn't the first time Rohit acknowledged being challenged by Steyn. Last year, during an interview with Indian sports journalist Vimal Kumar, Rohit said the same thing. "If a bowler challenged me, and I had fun playing against him, it has to be Dale Steyn. He never deviated from the ideal length. He used to swing [the ball] at a high pace. There are a few bowlers who make the ball swing above 140 [kmph]".

In return, Steyn also had some nice things to say about Rohit, but his statement that he struggled to bowl against him is far from the truth. "I always struggled to bowl against Rohit [Sharma]. He is a phenomenal batter, leading the team from the front," Steyn had told Star Sports.

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