Stephen Fleming Hails Virat Kohli, Puts Him Among Greats


New Delhi: Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli has earned accolades from across the globe for his pristine form and flawless style of play. He has looked solid of late and has scored runs across formats. In the recently ended Test series against West Indies, Kohli plundered his maiden Test double ton and gave a testament to his prowess against the red ball.

Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara are considered as one of the greatest cricketers to have graced the game. They are legends and have prove their worth in gold, they can easily make it to any All-Tim XI and have done a commendable job or their side. Kohli had a splendid run in the Indian Premier League (IPL) season 9 where he scripted numerous records with aggressive yet calculated batting. He possesses immense skills and has inscribed his name in the history of cricket. Former New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming on this occasion heaped praises on Kohli and mentioned him in the elite league of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting on the basis of skills. He also said that Kohli has the making of becoming a legend and can become one of the greats to have played the game.

Fleming said, “He is getting there. He hasn’t yet reached the level of Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara, but that is only because they had such long careers. From a skill point of view, yes, Kohli is in that bracket. There are also batsmen like Williamson, Steve Smith, Joe Root and A.B. de Villiers who play a great brand of exciting cricket.” Fleming further spoke on how to counterattack Kohli as he has been in an insane form. He also emphasised the importance of Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin in the side. Fleming said, “You must put Kohli under pressure by bowling long, accurate spells. But you cannot focus solely on Kohli, and forget about other in-form players like Ajinkya Rahane and Ashwin. This will be a mistake. It is similar to the past when certain teams used to concentrate just on Sachin Tendulkar, only to be stung by the likes of V.V.S Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag”.

New Zealand is scheduled to tour India for a Test series this month. On this Fleming said, “The New Zealand side generally takes a while to adjust to foreign conditions. If the Tests are played on traditional Indian wickets — which I think they should, as I’m not a fan of neutral wickets — it will be tough for them to handle the likes of Virat Kohli and R Ashwin. However, if guys like Ross Taylor and (skipper) Kane Williamson lead the way and the young guys adjust quickly, there is enough there to make it a competitive series.”

The battle between India and New Zealand will be an enthralling one and Kohli will certainly look to make the most of it as he has the home advantage. Kohli has led the side well and won the Test series against West Indies by 2-0. He will look to claim the series against New Zealand and help India climb to the top spot in the ICC Test rankings.