Australian Trent Woodhill has compared Indian captain Virat Kohli and South African superstar AB de Villiers with tennis greats like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, in terms of skills and approach to the game.
Woodhill has been a part of Royal Challengers Bangalore coaching staff and has worked with both Kohli and De Villiers in IPL, who occupy the top two spots on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings for batsmen.
“While Kohli’s strength was his fitness and the extra sharpness it gave him, the South African was all about training smart,” said Woodhill.
“(Kohli) is the most impressive sportsman I’ve had the pleasure to work with – in any sport. He’s in the same stratosphere as Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi,” said Woodhill
“His approach to his own cricketing career and everything involved around it is extremely professional. He’s definitely fitter than he’s ever been. What that allows you to do is under pressure, you’re able to replicate technique and replicate movement patterns. So he’s less likely than others to play a lazy shot or not execute the way he’d like because his fitness and his mind is so sharp. And that’s where that brilliance lies," Woodhill said of Kohli.
About De Villiers, Woodhill said, “He’s mastered the art of replicating what he needs to do in a period of time in training to be able to move on.”
“It’s tough to pick who is the best of them,” said Woodhill. “AB and Federer share a similar DNA I think, and the same with Nadal and Kohli. The point’s never dead for Nadal, and the point’s never dead for Virat. And AB, he finds a way as Federer does, in conditions where others struggle.”