Root and Kohli will be at the top for the next 5 years, says Ian Botham

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Root and Kohli will be at the top for the next 5 years, says Ian Botham

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SportsCafe Desk

12/21/2016

Former England all-rounder Ian Botham has said that there is pretty much nothing to differentiate between Virat Kohli and Joe Root in terms of their consistency with the bat. Botham also praised the Indian pacers for bowling well throughout the series despite the rotation policy.

After playing 53 Tests each, there is very little to separate England's Joe Root and India's Virat Kohli. While Root has scored 4,594 Test runs, 385 more than Virat, the Indian Test skipper has more hundreds--15 compared to Root's 11 tons

England's legendary all-rounder Sir Ian Botham has predicted that the duo will rule the batting charts for the next five years.

"The two best players in the series have been Root and Kohli. They have almost the same record. One thing Virat will want to do is score runs in England. He averages 14 there. So he would want to put that right. He is a winner and wants to put that to bed. Similarly, Root has 11 fifties, but not many hundreds. So these two will be the stand out players in cricket for the next five years, but it's tough to say who is better, especially after a series in India. They will be number one and two,” he told India Today on Wednesday.

Botham was also full of praise for India's pace attack saying that their consistent performances are a big plus for the team when playing overseas.

"When I used to play against the West Indies, when they were the best, I used to tell Viv Richards, don't tell me how good you guys are, tell me how good you will be against your own bowling. The same can be said here. Indian seamers have surprised England. They have bowled good pace consistently and even after rotation. You are very lucky right now. This is one of the best attacks I have seen an Indian side have and it will hold you in good stead away from home," he said.

With Kohli expressing his wish to play county cricket after struggling in India's tour of England in 2014, Botham was eager to sign him up for Durham.

"As chairman of Durham, if he wants to come play for Durham, I can arrange that tomorrow,” the former England captain said. 

“I would love him to come and play for Durham. I will definitely have a chat with him before I leave. I honestly don't know how we will fit it in his schedule. It's so packed. But it goes back to what I was saying that that's the kind of guy he is, he wants to dominate everywhere he goes. I would not be surprised to see him playing there, may be for a month or so," he added.

The cricketing great also downplayed the comments made by James Anderson, where the England paceman said Virat's success was due to the slow Indian pitches.

"I'm sure Virat said things to Anderson as well. It's a big boys game. There are always mind games being played. What Virat has done is, he has answered with his bat here and he would like to do the same when he comes to England," Botham said.

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