Virat Kohli worthy of comparisons with the best

It’s a near-tragedy that the best batsman on display in this edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy has not tasted victory in the series. And the manner in which the Sydney Cricket Ground pitch is playing, there won’t be a champagne time at all for India who have already lost the series 0-2.

India’s new Test captain Virat Kohli has been sensational this Australian summer and fully deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as other top performers on Australian soil like former captains Greg Chappell, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.

Like Chappell in his 1975-76 captaincy debut, Kohli scored a hundred in both innings during the opening Test at the Adelaide Oval. Like Gavaskar, Kohli has scored four centuries in an away Test series (in 1970-71). Yesterday, he went past Dravid (619 runs) in the list of highest run-getters in a series against Australia. And like Tendulkar did in 1991-92, when he lit up the Sydney Cricket Ground and WACA ground in Perth, Kohli has brought about great hopes of him turning out to be a batting legend, however premature that may sound.

Save his ultra aggressive approach when it came to giving back more than required when the Australians needled him, Kohli has not put a foot wrong this summer. He has led from the front and has been the most assured Indian batsman of the series against pace and the spin of Nathan Lyon.

His cover-driving has evoked orgasmic reactions from both the purists and suckers of limited-overs cricket. To top it all, his ability to clear the field and challenge the otherwise quicksilver Australian fielders will bring about a sense of nostalgia sooner than expected.

Kohli’s good form notwithstanding, India needs the other batters to fire in the one-day triangular series to ensure they go into the World Cup well-oiled. In a way, Kohli’s just got warmed up for a long Australian
summer.

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