What’s the story?
Iconic English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has heaped praise on Virat Kohli and has said that the Indian captain is on a ‘different planet’. The Indian skipper who is often referred to as ‘King Kohli’ for his dominating performances over the years is currently experiencing a plunge in scoring rate.
He has managed only 40 runs in four innings against the visiting Australians. But in spite of a dip in form, Flintoff asserted that Kohli is head and shoulders above the rest of the batsman in the international arena today.
While speaking to The Metro, in England, he said, “He's absolutely on his own. You look at the four main captains; Steve smith, Kane Williamson, Joe Root and Virat Kohli. They're all very, very good players but Virat is head and shoulders above all of them.”
In case you didn’t know..
Just like Kohli, Flintoff was a talismanic figure as well for his nation, England. One thing which is common between the two is ‘aggression’ but unlike Kohli, Flintoff was a controversial figure off the cricket ground.
After his retirement in 2010, the all-rounder controversially took up boxing and even defeated American Richard Dawson on debut. But it has remained to be his last game as he later regretted that decision and has also termed it ‘utter stupidity’.
When Flintoff was asked to whom he would like to bowl, he replied that he would love to bowl to Kohli because he is on a whole new level compared to his counterparts. The former England all-rounder is completely impressed by Kohli, who boasts a Test average of 49.90 and already has 16 Test hundreds and hasn’t showcased any major weakness yet.
The heart of the matter
If Virat Kohli gets going in a match, it is perhaps hard for even the opposition fans to stop admiring him. That is the elegance he brings into his game with the wide range of shots he possesses. The former England skipper has underlined the same in a recent interview.
Flintoff said that in spite of Kohli having so many shots in the bag, he remains patient and churns out runs in the longer format of the game without risking his wicket. He also added that Kohli is an extremely impressive player in the limited-overs format of cricket.
He praised the risk-free cricket Kohli plays in the shorter formats by scoring briskly along the ground and said that these unique qualities put him on a ‘different planet’ altogether.
In the first two Test matches against Australia, Kohli has departed in bizarre ways. In the ongoing third Test against the team from Down Under, the Indian skipper injured his shoulder while fielding and if he takes further part in the game, then the Delhi-born will be determined to put up a scintillating performance to return to form.
The answer to who is the best batsman amongst the current crop of players will always remain debatable. But one can easily agree with Flintoff’s comments because Kohli has shined in all formats of the game consistently for quite a few years now.
His 2595 runs in 2016 alone at an astonishing average of 86.50 makes him much better than all his other counterparts.