Former Australia batsman Ian Chappell has rated India skipper Virat Kohli as the best batsman among the current generation of players.
Asked to pick among Australia’s Steve Smith, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, England’s Joe Root and Virat Kohli, Chappell picked the Indian skipper among the lot, citing his ‘unbelievable record across the three formats.
“Of that group, Kohli is the best in all three forms. That’s unquestionable. His record in all three forms is quite unbelievable, particularly his record in the shorter forms,” the 76-year-old said during a chat on The RK Show on YouTube.
The last time India toured Australia in 2018, Kohli led from the front as India claimed a maiden Test series win in Australia. Chappell revealed why Kohli did not play fancy shots, and likened him to Sir Vivian Richards when it comes to playing normal shots.
“Having listened to Kohli talk about batting, he makes a lot of sense. I like his approach to batting. We did an interview with him last time India were in Australia, and one of the things he talked about was why he didn’t play the fancy shots, the innovative shots of particularly T20 cricket.
“He said he didn’t want those to creep in his batting in the longer form of the game. The best short-form player in the time I played was Viv Richards, and he just played normal cricket shots but he placed the ball so well he was able to score at a very fast rate. And Kohli’s the same. He plays traditional cricket shots, and he plays them really well,” revealed Chappell.
Chappell also hailed Kohli’s fitness when it comes to running between the wickets.
“The other thing that stands out about Kohli is his fitness and running between the wickets. The way he pushes himself, he’s incredibly fit. Some of his performances are quite amazing,” the Australian said.
Kohli, who has more than 21,000 runs across the three formats, became India’s most successful Test captain when India thumped West Indies in the Test series in the Caribbean last September, surpassing MS Dhoni’s record of 27 Test wins. Currently, Kohli has 33 wins to his name as captain out the 55 Tests he has led.
Chappell termed Kohli a fearless captain.
“The one thing that stands out to me is that Kohli is the one (captain) that doesn’t fear defeat. He’s prepared to lose a game in trying to win it. You’ve got to be that way as a captain in my opinion. I like that approach.
“I thought when he took over the captaincy that he was so emotional, it might affect his captaincy adversely but I think he has reined that in a little bit. He has made that work for him in his captaincy rather than work against him. He’s a pretty smart cricketer,” Chappell opined.
Chappell expecting changes in cricket’s post-COVID world
Chappell said that with no cricket taking place currently due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this was the ideal time for cricket administrators to plan and make necessary changes for the game in the post-COVID world.
“I’d like to think that in this period of hiatus the administrators would be thinking about where they want the game to go. You have a period where no cricket is being played, this is the ideal time for some thinking about the game and where it’s going. They’ll have to make some changes because of what’s happened in the pandemic,” the former skipper said.
He also said there should be good cooperation between administrators and players.
“Whatever they do in the future, it’s got to be a partnership between the administrators and the players. The only way the game is going to go forward, and go forward in a good, positive way is if we work together,” he concluded.
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