Anil Kumble hailed Rohit Sharma as India's player of the year following the fabulous run of form the opener has had this year across formats. Kumble also picked Mayank Agarwal as the young Indian player of the year following his consistent performances opening the batting in Tests.
2019 has been a remarkable year for the Indian cricket side across formats, having grown in stature considerably, especially in the game's longest format, where the team, under Kohli, has decimated every team that it's faced. While the semi-final debacle at the World Cup was the only gray spot for the team in the year, they were more or less flawless and at the top of their game for the entirety of the year.
Legendary Indian cricketer Anil Kumble picked Rohit Sharma as the player of the year for the side. Rohit had a fabulous year in terms of runs, while he also stepped up to lead the side in Virat Kohli’s absence. Rohit’s success as a Test opener added yet another feather to his hat.
“I mean there have been many players...Indian cricketers have had a successful year. But I think one person stands out Rohit Sharma has had a fantastic season. In the World Cup to have five hundreds,” Kumble told News18.
“Then a double hundred in a Test match as an opener against South Africa. He has come back into the Test match as an opener is something that has changed the way Rohit is looked at. His leadership role whenever he has got the opportunity to lead India in the absence of Virat Kohli. So, I think this year you have to give it to Rohit Sharma and nobody else.”
When asked about his choice for the young Indian player of the year, the former leggie hailed Mayank Agarwal as the find of the year. Agarwal, who had a spectacular debut Down Under, did well to recover from the Windies snub early in the year to consistently pile runs at the top of the order. Kumble praised Agarwal for the effort he put in to develop his game and his ability to convert starts into big scores.
“For me the young Indian player has to be Mayank Agarwal. He made his debut in Boxing Day last year. So, it is not easy. Boxing Day Test match walking in with 90,000 people, at MCG. He had a great debut for India and from there on he has grown in stature, and I think he is someone India can look towards even in One Day cricket, even in T20 at some point in time. He has a mature head on his shoulders. He has done the hard yards, getting runs consistently in domestic cricket, and he has been brilliant for India as an opening batsman.
“There’s been lot of competition for the opening slot, but Mayank has stood out. Whenever he has gone there he has got a hundred, he converted those hundred into a double hundred.
“So, I think you have seen the growth of a young Indian talent. Who we knew has potential when he came out for the first time on the scenes. But he has been able to translate that ability into performance by going through the hard yards in domestic cricket,” Kumble concluded.
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