Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are the best players of their respective generation and most celebrated cricketers in India. However, when it comes to the pressure of expectations, the Indian Captain Kohli is far higher than Tendulkar, claimed former England skipper Alec Stewart on Wednesday (29 August).
Stewart also lauded the 29-year-old right-hander for his single-minded effort at Trent Bridge, hitting 97 and 103 to help India to register a great win in the third Test against England.
As per reports in Hindustan Times, Stewart said in an interview, “India are ranked No 1, and they put up a decisive show at Trent Bridge. Under Virat, India have become a very competitive and proud unit. India would have lost the series otherwise, and it was a very, very good performance all around. Kohli’s batting was exceptional. Virat is the best in the world and India’s bowling and catching was right.”
He further added, “At Lord’s, India got their selection wrong, and they corrected that. They must back it up now at the Ageas Bowl and not revert to what we have seen at Lord’s and Edgbaston.”
Stewart, who played 133 Tests, scoring 8,463 runs with 15 centuries took 263 catches and affected 14 stumpings is not surprised by Kohli's magical form with the bat.
While praising the right-hander, the English great added, “I’m not surprised at all. He is world class; I am a massive fan of him. Top players will always find a way to succeed. I expected him to do well, whether he played for Surrey or not -- he has talent and mental strength to perform well.”
However, Stewart admitted that Tendulkar has got a lot of attention across the globe, but in the modern generation with much accessibility, the pressure of expectations are harder on Kohli than him and it has only grown every day. The focus of every English fan is on Kohli and it seems that the ongoing Test series is almost like England versus the India skipper.
He signed off by saying, “Both represent a country with 1.3 billion people and there will be massive expectations. But it’s a tribute to these people the way they deal with adulation; it’s more than just a game of cricket. It’s potentially harder on Kohli than Tendulkar because of the accessibility now -- TV, radio, social media, online, these days everyone has an opinion. The spotlight is even greater now.”