Former Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara has praised Virat Kohli after the Indian captain’s innings of 149, saying that he can go on to become India’s greatest ever batsman.”The way he is playing, Virat can well become the greatest ever Indian batsman,” he told TOI on the sidelines of his commentary stint with Sky Sports yesterday. “In terms of Sachin’s legacy, both in terms of cricket and the way he has dealt with pressure, he is unique. But Virat is well on his way to match that. He is comfortably the best in the world of his generation and with time, he will mature even more.
”If he understands himself a bit better and keeps improving his game, he will break quite a few records,” Sangakkara added.
Kohli was lucky to survive a couple of scares in the beginning of his innings when he was dropped, but he continued batting with confidence and was instrumental in India reducing England’s first innings lead to 13 runs. Sangakkara felt that it was Kohli’s “decisive feet movement that did the job” in his innings, which is in stark contrast to how his feet moved when India toured England in 2014.
Meanwhile in his column for TOI, Sunil Gavaskar too lavished emphatic praise on the Indian captain when he wrote that Kohli had “conquered the peak” and cemented his place in “the pantheon of greats of the game.”
“In doing so, Kohli made a mockery of the thinking that he needed to play county cricket to get a big score in England. Kohli is an exceptional talent and can get runs even if he wakes up in the middle of the night.”
However, Gavaskar was also critical of the other Indian batsmen when he wrote, “More than him, it is the other guys who have lesser talent who needed to spend more time playing against the red ball, as was seen by the way they struggled against the moving ball. Even if India go on to win the Test and the series, the decision to play just one three-day game in fortnight’s gap has clearly not helped the other batsmen.”
India will resume their chase of 194 on Day 4 with Kohli batting on 43 off 76 balls and Dinesh Karthik batting on 18 off 44 balls. The team needs 84 runs to win the Test with five wickets remaining to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
First Published: August 4, 2018, 11:27 AM IST