Ex-England batsman Geoffrey Boycott has asked followers to stop comparing Virat Kohli to former batting greats, saying it really does not matter if the Indian ace doesn’t break all batting records. Meanwhile, former Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum described Kohli as an “absolute superstar”.
“We're all human. What we see on TV, we think that it's the best ever. Is Kohli better than (Sunil) Gavaskar? Hang on. The kid's going to be a great player. But Gavaskar and (Sachin) Tendulkar were great players too. It's easy to say 'long live the king.’'The king is dead.' That's what happens to us all. We're all: 'Was that Tendulkar, did he really play and get a 100 hundreds?’ ‘Was he really better than Kohli?' We focus on what we see because we're human,” Boycott was quoted as saying by Times of India.
“He won't break all records. And it won't matter even if he does. It won't make him a better player than those of the past. I broke Gary Sobers’ record of most number of runs in Delhi. That doesn't make me a better batsman than him. What (Kohli) has to do is carry on scoring runs and winning a Test match for his country. And then towards the end of his career, he'll be judged in the pantheon of all the greats. I'm proud for instance that England have never lost a Test when I've made a hundred. Simple. Don't get me out twice cheaply, you won't win, simple.
“He has to carry on that form in India and abroad too. He'll get a chance to put that right when he comes to England in two years' time. He's got hundreds in Australia and South Africa.
“It isn't easy when the guy is practising, working his socks off. It's one of the many things I like about Kohli. I hear from many ex-India players that he trained hard to get to where he is.”
Meanwhile, McCullum said Kohli has made batting look effortless.
“You look at his impact on One-Day cricket, Test cricket, T20 cricket – all around the world, different conditions. And it’s just effortless as well,” McCullum told cricket.com.au.
“If we look at Indian cricket over a period of time, they’ve always been immensely talented, but just with the high intensity he operates at on a consistent basis, he’s taken that to a new level through his professionalism and his fitness.
“And I think you’ve seen a whole raft of cricketers since he’s come on as captain as well really take that in their stride, and the IPL has been a catalyst for that as well.”
McCullum also said that the game is lucky to have a superstar like Kohli for being a fierce competitor without crossing the line.
“He’s an out-and-out superstar and he plays the game in the right way – he plays it hard on the field but he never really crosses the line, unless challenged in a different way. But he’s an absolute superstar and I think the game is lucky to have him.”