Australian paceman Mitchell Starc, who is the leading wicket-taker in the ongoing World Cup so far, lauded Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s competitive nature on the field which makes him stand apart from other modern-day batsman.
Speaking about some of the best batsmen he has bowled to, Starc described how Kohli’s ability to score runs both 'home and away' has been quite significant. He also described his experience playing under him for the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise in the IPL.
“Virat Kohli is pretty good. We fought a good few battles along the way. He’s someone I’ve been fortunate enough to know through IPL cricket playing alongside for RCB and seen the way he approaches his cricket from a teammate’s perspective rather than an opposition,” Starc was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“I’m fortunate enough to have taken his wickets a few times but he’s also hit me for runs along the way. I think his all-round game is pretty impressive. He can score runs at home and away which is incredibly important for any batsman around the world,” the Australian left-arm paceman added.
While Kohli has been known for his aggression, Starc described him as a 'chilled out' cricketer off the field.
“He’s someone who loves competition whether it’s being a little bit more aggressive at times, he loves the competitive nature of cricket. When he steps back over the white line, he’s pretty chilled and works to get around the boys and that’s quite special as well,” Starc, who has 26 wickets so far in this World Cup, said.
The 29-year-old pacer also named AB de Villiers as one of the toughest to bowl. Starc admitted that the former Proteas batsman had got the better of him at numerous occasions and that he was lucky that ABD didn't feature in international cricket anymore.
“Toughest to bowl to, it’s hard to put just one out there. I think AB de Villiers is obviously a big one to have to play against. Thankfully, he has retired from international cricket but he’s fantastic. He can hit the same ball to five different parts of the ground. It was great to have a few challenges against him and fortunate to get him out a couple of times along the way,” he said about De Villiers.
Starc also named his teammate Steve Smith and asserted that he had enjoyed his fierce battles with the former captain during the net sessions.
“Another one I don’t have to play against is Steve Smith. I still get to have those challenges in the nets, bowl more short balls to him and try bowling him fast. Having some of those net session competitions between the two has been incredible.”