Kohli with Sourav Ganguly Image: AFP
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly reckons Virat Kohli's name deserves a mention in the same breath as great batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting and a few others. The current India skipper has been in terrific form lately and scored two centuries in the three ODIs against South Africa.
Kohli, who recently scored his 34th ODI ton, has been instrumental in India taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in the six-match series. The 29-year-old was also the highest scorer in the 50-over format in 2017, 1,460 runs in 26 matches at an average 76.84, which included six hundreds and seven half-centuries.
Ganguly, who has been occasionally critical of Kohli's captaincy, in a column for ToI, opined that there were no doubts that Kohli is in the same league with the best batsmen to have graced cricket over the past few years. "I have been fortunate enough to play with and against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Ricky Ponting, and Brian Lara, and this man is right up there with all of them. What stands out for me is not just his amazing control and his ability to adjust but also the energy and intensity he brings to his batting in each and every innings," Ganguly wrote.
"To get to 34 ODI centuries so quickly in his career is just out of the world. The fact that no other Indian batsman has touched a three-figure mark so far on this tour and only one South African has got a century shows what quality of batsmanship Kohli has displayed on this trip. And we still have a while to go!" Ganguly added.
Ganguly also credited Kohli and the Indian team's character for turning things around in the ODIs after a humiliating Test series loss against the Proteas. "It has been a superb performance from India. To see them 3-0 up in a six-match ODI series in South Africa, especially after losing the Test series, speaks volumes of the character shown by Virat Kohli and his boys," read his piece.