Virat Kohli has certainly been magnificent over the years and is well & truly the best batsman in the world at the moment, said Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, as he lavished huge praise over the might of the impregnable Indian skipper.
"When I look at the current batsmen in the international arena, I do not think anyone can come close to Kohli. He is head and shoulders above the rest in terms of ability to score runs. He is technically superior and mentally very strong," Hafeez told Firstpost in an interview given after his recently announced retirement from Test Cricket.
Speaking about which, Hafeez reiterated that his decision to bid adieu at the end of the series versus New Zealand in UAE and ahead of the tour of South Africa may have come as a surprise and has seen people question his motives. But he had it all planned, as he said, "I was planning to retire from Tests for the last few weeks and my decision was not based on my recent form. I had already sounded the Pakistan Cricket Board about my plans to retire from Tests."
"I felt the time was ripe for me to make an exit from the Test arena and give the youngsters in the team an opportunity to settle down. It was my aim to make an exit gracefully while still playing Test cricket rather being forced out of the team."
"I have not timed my retirement to avoid facing the likes of Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada on pacy tracks of South Africa where Pakistan will travel next. I will face these bowlers in one-dayers and T20s because I will continue to play white ball cricket," he added.
Hafeez, who played a crucial role in Pakistan's astonishing triumph against the world in the Champions Trophy last year, further informed, "I wanted to be completely focussed - both mentally and physically — to take on the rigours of limited overs cricket — without being weighed down by the pressures of Test cricket."
"The World Cup is definitely on my mind and if you see the history of Pakistan cricket, we have always done well in England — be it the 2009 ICC World T20 where we won or the Champions Trophy last year," he signed off.
Hafeez played 55 Tests for Pakistan and scored 3,652 runs at an average of 37.6 picking up 53 wickets at 34.11.