Former India batsman Mohammed Kaif said that he’d prefer watching limited-over vice-captain Rohit Sharma over skipper Virat Kohli if he had to choose between the two.
“If there are two matches happening in the same city simultaneously and Virat is playing in one and Rohit in another, then I will head to the match featuring Rohit Sharma,” Kaif told YouTube channel Sportscreen.
“No doubt, Virat has an outstanding record in Tests and white-ball cricket both, but Rohit has the elegance; so much time while facing a bowler. He is one batsman who can smash a bowler without the bowler even realising that he is under attack.”
The hero of India’s Natwest Trophy victory played more than 100 One-day Internationals, primarily because of his fielding. Kaif’s fielding skills prolonged his career even as his batting form declined steadily.
Kaif was asked for his take on Indian fielding compared to the times when Yuvraj Singh would man the point region and he would be stationed at extra cover. The 39-year-old thinks that the current Indian setup lacks a ‘complete package’
Kaif said: “To be a complete package, you need to be a good catcher, you should be able to hit the stumps often, you should be able to run fast, you should have the right technique to grab a moving ball.”
He added: “When we were playing, me and Yuvraj made our mark as good fielders. Today, you will find a lot of good fielders in the Indian team, but I don’t think there is anyone who is a complete package as a fielder.
“A person who can catch in the slips, who can take a catch at short-leg, can field in long-on boundary by running fast – that package I think is missing.”
The 39-year-old praised Ravindra Jadeja, widely regarded as India’s best fielder, but wanted the slip catching to improve.
“Ravindra Jadeja is a good fielder, in fact as he is adding on the years, his fielding is also improving. But India’s slip fielding isn’t up to scratch,” said Kaif.