Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam
New Delhi: Virat Kohli is indeed in the threshold of becoming a truly celebrated player. The 25-year-old Delhi boy has, in a short span of time, become the mainstay of Indian batting.
Ever since leading the Indian U-19 team to World Cup victory in 2008, the middle-order batsman has never looked back in his career. In tow with the on-field success, the young Indian has been receiving praises and accolades veritably – all of which says his worth the Indian team and also to the sport.
One such words of appreciation is from none other than the Kiwi great, Martin Crowe. A keen observer and equally adept in giving appropriate comments, Crowe said that the young Indian is the perfect blend of three of India`s greatest batsmen – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag.
The former Kiwi skipper, who was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1985, reckons that the prodigious Indian right-hander has all the elements – `intensity of Rahul, the audacity of Virender, and the extraordinary range of Sachin, thus making him the the chosen one. In fact, the experienced eyes of Crowe sees Kohli as the `beacon in this rebuilding team`.
If the stats are to be discussed to support or counter the 51-year-old former players` claim, then we have good enough reason to believe in his words. Kohli has already scored 18 ODI centuries and 30 fifties in his 130 matches so far. This number, in itself, has put the Indian in one of the greats in the shorter format of the game. Of these hundreds, all but in one instance, India have won the match. The record in T20 format is equally impressive with an batting average of 33.21 and strike-rate of over 125.
Besides, his incredible form in the limited overs matches, Kohli has started to get a foothold in Test matches. Since the departure of the Big Four from the scene, like his contemporaries, he too has gained a position in the team. He now bats two-down in the five-day matches, filling he big shoes of Sachin Tendulkar.
Then, obviously, comparisons and compliments are bound to come.