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EXCLUSIVE | Virat a Great in Modern Era, Unfair to Compare With Sachin - Kumble

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: December 25, 2018, 4:51 PM IST

GK: Anil, again with your vantage point and having worked with the players, this year Virat Kohli has taken his batting to another level in terms of the tough runs he scored this year in South Africa, in England and now this hundred at Perth. What's your assessment of him as a batsman? Do you sense that he is at the peak of his powers, as just pure in Test match batting?

AK: Absolutely, I mean the one thing that you have to tell when you look at his career. That in each game, he not only improved his skill level, but he has taken it to the next level. Irrespective of the conditions but also mentally he is under control everything that is happening around. He has the ability to take his team around with his batting. He has matured and you can see it. The way he controls the game, I mean he doesn't play too many loose shots. He doesn't look to hit in the air. I mean when is batting with the lower order. You know he controls the game and you know if he crosses the 20, 30 mark you know that he got to take the hundred.

That has been the beauty the way Virat has done it in the last couple of years. He has been able to convert the starts and make a big score, and that something I would like to think that a Rahane, someone like an opening batsman who haven't really done well need to learn from. I mean they had a good start. Murali Vijay had a great start, he scored 20, he struggled really hard, he fought hard to get that 20. But he wasn't able to convert it into a big score. But someone like a Virat was able to do so consistently and made sure he that he puts his team in a good position. And that we have seen is not just because of skill level but also the kind of mental ability that he has. by controlling all the distractions he was able to chanelise and made sure he is watching the ball to make sure he is doing all the right things on the pitch.

GK: Let me ask you the question which has always elicits the headline then. Are you seeing shades of great Sachin Tendulkar in Virat Kohli already then?

AK: (Laughs) I think you can't compare two people. It was a different era, I don’t think we need to compare. But he is certainly a great player in terms of numbers, Virat already has already 60 international hundreds, in such a short span of time, he is hungry we know he is extremely fit, and when he gets the opportunity he makes the best of it. And he makes it count. I think that is the ability Virat has had. And I don't think we should start comparing. He is a great player of the modern era. So let us just accept that and help him you know make him go out there and do his job for the team. Because it is just not about Virat, if you have to win a series it is also about the other players who are contributing and making sure that the team gets to a position of strength. We have seen that Virat has been consistently performing but so has Cheteshwar Pujara consistently performing. And I did say before the start of the series, yes with these two performing you can win a match. For you to win the series you want other players to consistently perform as well. And probably this is the time that the others lift their game, and perform for India to win this match and also win the series.

First Published: December 24, 2018, 9:54 AM IST
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