When it comes to batsmanship across all three formats, India skipper Virat Kohli is simply a giant. Virat has scored 35 one-day international hundreds – only behind his batting hero Sachin Tendulkar (49) with 21 of them in run-chases.
He averages a mind-boggling 58.20 in ODIs from 211 matches with 9779 runs while his T20I average reads 48.88 in 62 matches with 2102 runs. Not long ago, Kohli had the average of more than 50 in the shortest format as well.
Virat has also proved his mettle in the traditional format of cricket, scoring 5554 runs at an impressive average of 53.40 in 66 matches thus far. He boasts of 21 tons in Tests with 6 of them being double.
As Kohli gears up to feature in a high-octane five-Test series against England from Wednesday (August 1), legendary India all-rounder Kapil Dev has named him among the greatest cricketers of all time.
“Virat Kohli is among the top 10 players of all time. His name will be written in the history of 200 years of cricket, like Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar,” Kapil said in an exclusive interview with ThePrint.
Although Team India is ranked at No. 1 position in the ICC Test rankings for last three years, they are yet to win a series against a top Test side in their own den. No wonder, cricket fans are eagerly waiting to see the numero uno Test side getting tested in the adverse English conditions.
Kapil, however, has a different take on it and has his own way to assess the quality of a team.
“You don’t judge a cricket team over three or five weeks. You have to judge in the last 15 years, and they have achieved everything — they have won the World Cup, they are ranked No.1 in the Test and ODI rankings. Just because they lost to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy (final) doesn’t mean they are bad,” Dev remarked.
“We were right at the bottom in our time. Now we are number one. One Champions Trophy doesn’t mean Pakistan is on top; Pakistan still has to fight very hard to get there,” he added.
When asked about the bowlers he thought were crucial for India’s success, Kapil picked the veteran campaigner Ravichandran Ashwin and also hoped to see the off-spinner replicates the same showing away from home.
“Ashwin bowls extremely well. He has to now do well abroad. Nobody has done 150 years in cricket what he has achieved as a bowler, taking so many wickets in a short time,” Kapil Dev concluded.