Is Virat Kohli really the best batsman in the world? Warne believes so – there are a couple of other players in the mix, but in his opinion, Kohli is the number 1 pick in any world team, irrespective of the format. He also says that Kohli’s innings reminded him of Sachin Tendulkar, where the innings ‘came from nowhere, and at the end of the day, it didn’t matter who was bowling, he kept smashing him’. Watch on for more!
Since the Tendulkar-Kohli comparison has been made, it’s time to ask Warne what he thinks. He believes that at this point, comparisons with Tendulkar are ‘very nice for Virat’, and in his opinion, ‘there will only ever be one Sachin Tendulkar’. Warne draws on Tendulkar’s batting between 1994 and 1998, and believes that hardly anyone has ever batted better than Tendulkar during that phase, which included a memorable World Cup. He does however feel that if Kohli keeps going at this pace, comparisons with Tendulkar will be merited. Watch on for more!
Moving on to current players – the one other player in the ‘best batsman in the world’ debate is AB de Villiers. In Warne’s opinion, de Villiers is an incredible player, but hasn’t played as many big-match innings as Kohli has. He goes on to say that de Villiers is capable of producing those kinds of innings, but probably ‘outsmarts himself too much and tries to play too many unbelievable shots’. Warne then says Kohli has ‘determination’ and the ability to find a way to get the job done, that puts him ahead of de Villiers.
We then move on to India’s semi-final against the West Indies. There is a feeling that India’s batting is over-reliant on Kohli – we ask Warne if this is the case. He isn’t too keen on changing the opening combination, but does think that Rahane could be brought in to the middle order, at Suresh Raina’s expense (this interview was shot before Yuvraj Singh’s injury ruled him out of the tournament). He goes on to say that Raina’s weakness against the short ball is very evident, and that he ‘looked like a club level batsman’ while playing Shane Watson’s bouncers.
Much of India’s recent limited-overs success can be attributed to Ravindra Jadeja’s form, and his all-round abilities in the field. Warne was instrumental in Jadeja’s grooming as an international cricketer, particularly during a memorable IPL season with the Rajasthan Royals. Watch Warne talk about discovering Jadeja, and giving him opportunities to bat up the order. He also feels that he could be Jadeja’s agent and ask for a commission with the amount of money Jadeja’s been making of late!
Finally, we end with Warne’s opinion on the architect of India’s limited overs success over the past decade – MS Dhoni. Warne points out that it’s incredibly difficult to perform three roles – keeping, batting and captaining, and that no one else has done it at Dhoni’s level for an extended period of time. He says that while Dhoni’s batting has always been dangerous, his keeping and captaincy have evolved tremendously from the first time he saw Dhoni. Warne feels that Dhoni should bat a little higher, and ends with crediting him with much of India’s limited overs success over the past couple of years.
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