India opener Rohit Sharma may have scored three double hundreds in ODIs but former South Africa captain Kepler Wessels is not much impressed.
In the ongoing six-game ODI series in South Africa, Rohit has contributed lowly scores of 20, 15, 0 and 5 in the first four matches, with fast bowler Kagiso Rabada getting the better of him thrice.
In fact in the preceding Test series, he had not done very well either in the two Test matches he played with scores of 11, 10, 10 and 47 – again succumbing to Rabada three times.
Wessels, who captained the Proteas in the 1992 World Cup where they reached the semis, was brutally honest in his assessment of Rohit's lack of runs in South Africa in an interview to the Times of India recently.
"He will always struggle to score runs in SA because of his footwork. He plants his front foot across to the off-side and in SA, the pitches always seam and bounce a bit.
"This is the reason that he averages around 10 there. He'll always struggle there because of his technique.
"It doesn't affect him in India and even in Australia, because the ball doesn't seam there, it just bounces, but when you have seam and bounce, with that technique, he's got a problem," the 60-year-old said.
However, Wessels, one of the few players to have represented two countries (in his case Australia and South Africa), was all praise for the other Indian opener, Shikhar Dhawan who has scored 279 runs so far, including a century in Johannesburg.
"He looks very impressive in one-day cricket. He's superb there. In the Tests, he's still vulnerable to the short ball, but the overall package is very good," he said.
The next World Cup will be played in England and Wales in 2019 and Wessels thought India would be a force to reckon with there.
"I wouldn't say favourites, but they will be very competitive. Barring injuries to key players, it's looking good for them. They will be difficult to beat," he said.
The fifth ODI between India and South Africa will be played at Port Elizabeth on Tuesday. India, who are presently leading 3-1, could seal the series with a win and officially become the number ODI team in the world.