Kohli is most influential figure in the game, says Mike Atherton

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BCCI

Kohli is most influential figure in the game, says Mike Atherton

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SportsCafe Desk

12/06/2016

Former English skipper Mike Atherton has hailed Virat Kohli calling him “the most influential figure in the game”. He said that the Indian skipper is as ubiquitous as Sachin Tendulkar was a generation ago and termed Kohli as the most sought-after endorsement in India.

Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli has been in the form of his life for sometime now. Be it in Tests, or be it in limited-overs, Kohli has made himself a sheer pleasure to watch with the willow in his hand.

Atherton, who is part of the commentary team for the ongoing series between India and England, hailed the Indian skipper in his column for “The Australian”.

Atherton wrote, “The most influential figure in the game is Virat Kohli, India’s captain and leading contender for the best all-round batsman in the world today.”

Atherton added, “He is certainly the most in-form, as England have found to their cost, given that he has held together India’s batting in the first three Tests (he has scored 405 runs at 101.25).”

He compared the Indian No.3 with master blaster Sachin Tendulkar and said that Virat has crossed the social media popularity of Tendulkar.  

“He is ubiquitous, just as Sachin Tendulkar was a generation ago, but with the kind of reach through social media that did not exist when Tendulkar was in his prime,” Atherton wrote.

He also pointed out the remarkable change in the mindset of the Indians in last some years and said that people have started adoring Kohli more than Tendulkar.

“In Kohli, India have a cricketer for the 21st century: fit, driven, obsessive, social media savvy, living the reality of the collusion of cricket and celebrity (he is dating a Bolly­wood actress) and at home in three formats. A generation ago, they wanted to be like Tendulkar. Not anymore,” he concluded.

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