STAR KOHLI CAN TAKE ON ‘SACHIN’ ROLE FOR INDIA
India’s star batsman is lauded for his World T20 exhibition
Virat Kohli has been hailed as a “genius” and “unreal” by Indian cricket icons following his match-winning performance with the bat against Australia in the group stage of the World Twenty20.
Going into the tournament Kohli was billed as the one to watch and so far has not disappointed with 184 runs in four matches. His unbeaten 82 off 51 guided the host nation to victory against the Baggy Greens and secured a semi-final spot against the West Indies in Mumbai on Thursday (5.30pm UAE time).
“Hats off to this genius with a bat,” said former fast bowling star Kapil Dev.
“I have always believed that T20 cricket is not just about slamming the ball or indulging in ambitious shots. “You can play your normal cricket strokes and win your battles against the bowlers. Virat’s exhibition proved it.”
As well as Dev, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and commentator Prakash Wakankar were also full of praise for Kohli after his heroics against Australia in Mohali.
Kohli’s 82 not out meant that he now has a batting average of 91.80 when India are chasing. Ganguly says he is better than another legend of Indian cricket.
Ganguly told India Today: “Kohli is the greatest chaser by far and I am saying this keeping in mind the great man Sachin Tendulkar.
“Sachin was special but as far as chasing is concerned, Kohli has done better than Sachin. Kohli is unreal.”
Wakankar added that Kohli is a “worthy successor” to take over from Tendulkar’s mantle as the Indian team’s star.
“Virat is becoming the youngest senior statesman for India,” Wakankar told the BBC. “He is holding the team together, his bravado is speaking through his bat and not his actions, and he seems to be in complete control. He is in a zone and can’t do anything wrong.
“Virat is a phenomenon in the making as long as he learns from his idol Sachin Tendulkar how to handle the pressure and stay in his own space. He may well be the man who people can look upon as a worthy successor.”